• What: A national, publicly traded homebuilding company. Its local subsidiary is Lennar Northwest Inc.
• Corporate headquarters: Miami.
• 2012 net earnings: $679.1 million.
• Stock symbol: NYSE: LEN and LEN.B.
• Lennar homes in Clark County: Falcons Nest in Vancouver, Green Gables in Ridgefield and Lakeridge in Camas.
National homebuilder Lennar Corp. is establishing its first Clark County foothold, having all but completed two of the 140 single-family houses it plans for communities stretching from Camas to Ridgefield.
The company’s presence could be good news for area homebuyers, as the nation’s third-largest homebuilder brings new designs and cost efficiencies to the market. It may also help boost the workload for local subcontractors and suppliers, who are creating homes for established real estate agents to market and sell. However, Lennar’s entrance brings big competition to Clark County’s largely homegrown building industry, as the deep-pocketed national builder positions itself to ride the county’s next growth wave.
Questions remain about whether Lennar’s wealth and national business model will erode the business of local homebuilders, some of whom are still smarting over the fact that the Miami-based company’s subsidiary, Rialto Capital, acquired numerous Clark County developments by purchasing assets of the failed Bank of Clark County. Under terms of Rialto’s deal with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., those properties couldn’t be sold to Lennar.
Respected local builders harshly criticized Rialto for its hardball tactics in renegotiating repayment plans for construction loans, with some borrowers losing millions of dollars worth of unfinished projects.