Shea Homes cut the ribbon for six model homes at Trilogy Valor, a developing 55+ resort community near Kuna. The company has been selling and promoting the company for over a year, said Mark Gray, area president with Shea Homes.
“We (have been) able to tell a pretty good story, but there’s nothing like opening up model homes, driving through streets that are landscaped with street trees and irrigation flowing,” Gray told Idaho Business Review in early October.
Trilogy Valor offers 11 floorplans ranging from 1,342 to 2,367 square feet; all homes are single-story, with detached and duplex options. New homes start around the low-$400,000s.
“We designed for lifestyle,” Gray said. “We want the home to be a key as well to the bigger picture of what it is that we’re offering when it comes to resort living and active lifestyle.”
The homes are part of a project that includes amenities for community residents, such as a restaurant and bar, movement studio, pickleball area and more. It is being built on the Falcon Crest Golf Course and former sod farm just outside of Kuna.
The masterplan project (Valor) is spearheaded by developer M3 Companies, known locally for Red Hawk Ridge near Nampa. Gray praised M3 Company’s approach.
“I like the look and appearance of residential golf courses,” Gray said. “The neighborhoods tend to hem in the areas of the open spaces in a way that’s enhancing to the overall appeal, whether you’re a golfer or a homeowner on your back porch watching it.
In total, Shea Homes is planning to build nearly 1,000 homes, most as traditional single-family; the entire master-planned community will have 2,300 total homes, from single-family to high-density options.
“It is a transformation of the area,” Gray said. “It’s the beginning…It’s really exciting…This is pretty easy to get excited about.”
Regarding the reason for single-family, Gray explained that market research showed 55+ active adults responding most often and positively to single-family. Shea Homes sells often to people who are relocating, and single-family is what they want, most often, to relocate to in a resort community.
“It’s fairly consistent with what you see in Treasure Valley compared to other markets in the West that are a little higher density,” Gray said. “In Boise we’re fortunate to have enough area where a lot of all-ages housing is also single-story. And so, we fit right in with our approach when it comes to lifestyle.”
State of the industry
In recent years, developers have faced challenges described as “inconceivable” and “nothing like they’d ever seen before,” and one of those has been access to labor.
To address this, Gray said Shea Homes leveraged its capacity for relationship building. Shea Homes’ intent is to be recognized for a job done well, such as by delivering on a customer’s needs. That requires buy-in from all project collaborators.
“It’s a big organism, this business of building a home let alone a thousand,” Gray said. “There’s nothing unrealistic about our business plan, how many homes it is that we believe that we can sell because market research tells us that…What we have to be careful about and thoughtful (of) is in planning against that growth plan, that it’s fulfilled with the relationships…and live(s) up to our end of the bargain, which basically says, ‘There’s a mutual outcome that’s valuable to both of us here.’”
So, how does one develop those relationships?
Essentially, understand your competitors (because they’re influencers), understand the area (such as by joining local industry associations) and, “Just be nice,” according to Gray.
“It’s an honorable business, the business of building a home,” Gray said. “There’s a lot of clichés…There’s truth to all those things that are said. Being a builder, employing associates and gathering up as many businesses with like-values to deliver on that promise is for a lot of people a really rewarding experience. And we need more of it.”