D.R. Horton to build US$2.6M, 21,100 sq. ft. regional HQ near St. Augustine, Florida, suggests office's current workforce of 84 could expand to pre-recession employment level of 270 within five years

LOS ANGELES , June 26, 2012 () –

D.R. Horton plans to build a US$2.6-million regional corporate headquarters office in Northeast Florida, a move that suggest the Fort Worth, Texas-based homebuilder expects the regional market to improve a lot, reported Builder on June 21.

The new 21,100-square-foot building, which will be located near St. Augustine, Florida, will house home building, mortgage and title operations, as well as a home design center, according to Horton’s application for economic incentives.

Horton has said the new headquarters should be ready for occupancy by May 2012, said Melissa S. Glasgow, director of economic development for St. Johns County, Florida, Builder reported.

This week, the St. Johns County commissioners voted to approve an estimated $142,218 incentive package for the project. This includes reimbursing Horton for impact fees and taxes over a few years.

In the area around Jacksonville, Florida, Horton tops the lost of builders in terms of closings, according to Builder’s 2011 Local Leaders list.

Last year, Horton closed on 485 homes, accounting for 16.4% of the greater Jacksonville area market share of 2,961 home closings. The No. 2 builder in the same market was Lennar Corp, with 312 closings, reported Builder.

Horton’s decision to build a new headquarters office is the first time in several years that Builder has seen a homebuilder invest in new office space for itself.

The company currently rents space in Jacksonville and will renew that lease for the time while they are “in the rezoning and construction process” for the new office, said Glasgow, Builder reported.

All of the current 84 employees in the existing office are expected to move to the new headquarters and that headcount could increase to a “pre-recession employment” level of 270 in the next three to five years, suggests the company.

Attempts to contact a Horton spokesperson for comment were unsuccessful, reported Builder.

The primary source of this article is Builder, Washington, D.C., on June 21, 2012.


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