October 30, 2019

Plano-based residential developer Green Brick Partners Inc. has jumped into the entry ­level home market in North Texas through its Trophy Signature Homes subsidiary.

The first model home in the entry-level “Trophy Series” opened at the Ventana community in Fort Worth on Friday, and eight have already sold, Stewart Parker, president of Trophy Signature Homes, told the Dallas Business Journal Wednesday.

Trophy will construct about 300 homes in Ventana with an average sales price of about $250,000, Parker said.

The company will offer eight plans between 1,600 and 2,700 square feet in the Ventana community. Plans range from three to five bedrooms and two to three bathrooms. Each home features Trophy Signature Homes’ standard upgrades including tankless water heaters, home automation packages, modern fireplaces and spray foam insulation, Parker said.

The goal is to meet the Dallas-Fort Worth area’s growing need for quality, affordable homes and offer buyers additional “luxury extras” not traditionally included as standard features, Parker said.

Offering a product at the $250,000 price point gives Green Brick Partners (Nasdaq: GRBK) an avenue to meet market demand for entry-level single-family homes, said Jed Dolson, president of the Texas region for Green Brick Partners.

Green Brick previously offered townhomes through its builders as an entry-level product, and will close on about 450 of those in the Dallas-Fort Worth area this year, Dolson said.

Before teaming up with Parker, however, “we didn’t have a brand that could compete with the Pultes, Lennars and D.R. Hortons of the world,” Dolson said.

“We’re very excited about expanding Trophy because more people would like to live in a detached house than an attached house,” Dolson said in an interview with the Business Journal.

Fueled by strong employment and population growth, the North Texas new home construction market is among the hottest in the nation. Affordability of new and existing homes, though, has become an increasingly severe problem in North Texas and many fast-growing regions as home prices in the DFW area rise faster than wages.

Dolson said Trophy’s affordable product “appeals to the masses.”

“It’s important for every homebuilder to meet the market,”  he said. “There are a lot more Walmarts across the country than there are Neiman Marcuses. We don’t make the markets. We just try to service them as well as we can, and we’re just trying to provide houses at affordable prices to the average consumer out there.”

Trophy Signature Homes opened its first model home in the Hollyhock community of Frisco in May in the $450,000 price range, Parker said. Sales have been brisk, he said.

“We started at the higher price points in Frisco, and the market has received it very positively,” Parker said.

The product at Ventana has been ratcheted down to an entry-level price through design changes and purchasing of building materials and other components in larger quantities and less expensive alternatives, he said.

“It’s all about purchasing and product design,” he said. “It’s been value engineered but still has a lot of the features of a more expensive home. It’s been more of a purchasing exercise than anything else.”

Amenities at the 500-acre Ventana community include a new, 2,400-square-foot open-air pavilion, as well as a resort-style pool, outdoor grills, family dining areas, an event lawn and miles of walking trails.

In addition to Ventana, Green Brick and Trophy will open three new Trophy model homes by year-end, Dolson said.

Those will be in the Brookside community in Princeton, Park West in Frisco and Edgestone in Frisco, Parker said. Trophy has about 120 home sites in Brookside, 60 in Edgestone and more than 100 in Park West, he said.

Green Brick owns a controlling interest in five homebuilders in North Texas – CB JENI Homes, Normandy Homes, Southgate Homes and Centre Living Homes, in addition to Trophy Signature Homes. The company also owns a controlling interest in The Providence Group in Atlanta, Ga., and GHO Homes in Port St. Lucie, Fla.