A National homebuilder is going long on Northeast Florida, having invested more than $70 million in land in Duval and St. Johns counties in the past 18 months. The leadership of standard Pacific Homes Inc. (NYSE: SPF), based in Irvine, California, "saw an opportunity to commit to a lot of that land early on" in the housing market's recovery, said jim Birkholz, the company's Jacksonville division president.
The $70 million-plus figure doesn't include development costs. "We moved ahead of the of the market to capture the really A locations," Birkholz said. "That's all we were interested in." Birkholz said the builder is incredibly bullish on Jacksonville, a stance driven by job and population growth, as well as news of corporate relocations like Adecco North America's headquarters move. "We really have a bulls eye on Jacksonville," Birkholz said. "We think Jacksonville will probably catapult ahead of the national recovery."