The Housing and Building Association of Colorado Springs will present the 2011 Parade of Homes Aug. 5-21, and HBA President Kyle Campbell said this year’s event will feature work from some new homebuilders.
When was the Colorado Springs Parade of Homes created? How did it get its start and what is its goal?
The HBA Parade of Homes was created in 1954, and we are extremely excited to be conducting our 54th consecutive year of showcasing our member’s craftsmanship from August 5th through the 21st. As a member driven trade association that represents virtually every aspect of the land development and homebuilding industry, there is no better way to present our member companies than the annual Parade of Homes. I can imagine the conversations 55 years ago at the HBA when those members discussed how to promote the homebuilding industry and provide an exciting venue to share new innovations with the general public. By focusing attention on new homes during three weeks in August, we are able to adhere to one of most venerable events in the region while also allowing builder members the opportunity to present advancement in technology, energy saving design and construction techniques. With 33 new homes and three “hub” sites, this is one of the largest Parades we have had recently and we are thrilled about the quality of homes being presented.
There seem to be more builders participating this year. What does this say about the market and who are some of the new builders?
With the last several years of depressed sales, most homebuilders were cautious with introducing new products. The costs and risks associated with new design can be daunting even in a vibrant market, and every homebuilder has faced the challenges of the economy in different ways. I think the resurgence in participation indicates two things; first, a realization that the local market has reached the bottom and is slowly ascending, and two, that innovative design and changes in technology are always paramount in new home construction. The economy can’t slow the rapid pace of advancements in new home construction, and what better way to showcase it than the Parade of Homes. We’re proud that this year’s Parade will showcase several homebuilders that are new to the event: Aspen View Homes, Alliance Builders, Reunion Homes, Ron Covington Homes and Saint Aubyn Homes. Both Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity and Rocky Mountain Community Land Trust are participating this year, and what better way to help the public understand their mission and see their efforts than the Parade. With 25 home builders being represented the Parade reflects a varied cross section of homes from entry level to over a million dollars.
Is there anything else new or unique about the Parade of Homes this year?
As the economy continues to struggle the need for food and financial donations has never been greater. As the HBA has done in the past we are teaming with Champion Windows and Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado to “Close the Window on Hunger” in an effort to close the gap in donations that the summer months typically brings. The Parades of Homes venues will have donation areas for non-perishable food items during the entire event.
A first for the Parade of Homes is the G.J. Gardner Homes is the entry of our first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certificated home. This Gold Hill Mesa home features a geothermal sourced heating and cooling system and roof mounted solar panels. The LEED certification process is defined by national standards and represents some of the most advanced criteria for energy efficiency.
What are some of the biggest challenges home builders will face during the rest of 2011 and in 2012?
As the new home industry continues a very gradual ascent from the bottom of the market, home builders and developers will continue to work with local government agencies to eliminate costly policies and delays in plan processing that affect home pricing. We are fortunate that the HBA has always been able to coordinate with local agencies to work with them to understand cost impacts and processing considerations. Environmental and Stormwater regulations continue to affect how our business is conducted and the HBA’s monitoring of these issues from a local and national level will continue. We are hopeful that with the military expansion and active EDC recruiting that our local economy will grow and allow the new home market to continue to recover.