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Robert Thorne

Homebuilder bucks economy through market research

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In a time where there are hardly any new homes being sold and barely any homebuilders actually building, California West Communities has been able to do both in 2010.

Principal and CEO Robert Thorne credits this to good market research and surrounding himself with what he called some of the best real estate and home construction people around.

“We saw some indications that we felt San Diego County would rebound in 2010,” Thorne said.

California West Communities bought land in the northern part of the county and started building four master developments: Andalusia at 4S Ranch, Monteluz at 4S Ranch, Madison Lane in Vista, and Crosby Villas in Rancho Santa Fe.

“We had bought this land at the end of 2008, but delayed (the sale) until the first quarter of 2010,” said Thorne. “In third quarter of 2009 we saw there was going to be a better opportunity in 2010.”

These homes start in the low $400,000 with three bedrooms and 2.5 baths to the high $700,000 with six bedrooms and five baths.

Thorne said about 100 homes have been sold and that the company 2010 revenue is approximately $73 million.

“It was the right location and the right time,” he said. “On one of our phases, we had over 100 people lineup to buy a home and we sold out in 30 minutes.”

The Carlsbad-based company was also able to form new relations and find good financial backing from companies like IHP Capital Partners.

“We are one of the few not using construction lenders,” he said

Thorne also said what helped the company be successful in 2010 was the fact that the inventory for new non-foreclosed homes was so small.

California West Communities held several marketing campaigns via Internet sites and newspaper ads.

“There are well-educated buyers out there,” he added.

Because of the new home construction, Thorne said, more than 100 people were hired, including contractors.

“We feel in 2011the numbers will be similar to those in 2010 in terms of homes built and sold,” he said.

Thorne said the company would not have been as successful without his employees and his partners Don Fontana, president, and Greg Harris, vice president of construction.

“We work well together,” he said, using the site selection of the four master developments as an example. “We have a really good team of employees.”

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California West Communities

Company Website

5927 Priestly Dr. Ste., 103
Carlsbad, CA 92008

California West Communities Executive(s):

Robert Thorne

  • Chief Executive Officer