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Five that SURVIVED the


The hardy MidSouth homebuilders and designers who produce the best and weathered the worst. Story by CASEY HILDER |



The onset of the Great Recession in late 2008 shook the global economy to its foundation, causing the largest domestic decline in goods and services since World War II. However, few industries felt the sting of the recession like the country’s battered housing market. During the five-year long real estate crash ushered in alongside the recession, home values in the United States dropped by a combined $9 trillion, an amount equal to the annual GDP of the entire country of China. This striking loss cast the industry to the forefront of national news and led to a massive loss of jobs and foreclosure of businesses and homes across the country. The downturn of the residential housing market in particular affected thousands of designers, architects, contractors and builders and changed the business models of many for years to come, ushering in a new era of wearing many hats, mobilizing and doing more with less. Now, the market is finally showing signs of life following the massive dip in 2008. While many are still hesitant to acknowledge that the worst is over, the numbers speak for themselves. Construction rates have risen more than 38 percent in the past year and housing starts are now 85 percent higher than the dire lows hit at during the peak of the recession in 2009. While many operations perished during these tumultuous times, a willingness to break conventional stereotypes and think outside the box contributed to many local businesses not thriving, but surviving the tough times through grit and determination.

88 JULY 2013 |

Five that Survived the Crash  
Five that Survived the Crash