Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Sarasota County builder wins America's Best Builder

Sarasota-based Neal Communities has been named America's Best Builder for 2012 by Builder magazine.

This award is just the latest for the company, which has received many other national, state and local awards since it started in 1970.

The company was awarded the title based on community service, design and construction, financing and operations, customer service and marketing, said Denise Dersin, editor in chief of the magazine.

Companies vying for the title were judged by a panel of industry peers and previous award winners.

"More than any other time, this year and last year were probably the most difficult times for all home builders," she said. "To stand out head and shoulders above everyone else at a time like this is quite a feat."

With 403 sales and 376 closings in 2011, Neal Communities was one of the few builders to make money last year, Dersin said. The company won the award in the 100-500 closings category, joining three other builders in other size categories.

Company owner Pat Neal said he expects sales to increase by 20 percent in 2012 and by 30 percent for 2013.

"We're here and alive and ready for the next housing cycle," he said.

Tony Polito, a housing consultant with Tampa's Metrostudy, a national company that tracks the construction industry, credits Neal Communities' success to the local reputation and brand the company has developed in Sarasota in the past 42 years. Neal Communities holds about 28 percent of the building permits in Sarasota and Manatee.

"We continue to move away from the bottom in terms of new home start activity and (Neal) is far and away the biggest builder in the market," Polito said.

In response to Florida's stagnant construction industry, Neal said the company is making homes smaller, so they are cheaper to buy and build, and worked to make its houses more energy efficient.

These steps helped cut costs by 40 percent, Neal said, and the company has always strived to meet its standard of good customer service and attention to detail.

He added: "I think this award will help us by putting a national recognition on something that we have learned to do well locally."

Sarasota County builder wins America's Best Builder 01/13/12 [Last modified: Friday, January 13, 2012 11:03pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Review: 'Channel Zero: No-End House' pumps up the prestige horror


    In its second season, Channel Zero cements itself as one of the scariest shows on television.

    Amy Forsyth in Channel Zero: No-End House.
  2. Utilities face barrage of questions as power returns to Tampa Bay


    Nearly all of Tampa Bay has electricity again a week after Hurricane Irma shredded the power grid, but elected officials here say the problem is far from solved.

    Duke Energy's Scott Crellin (right) works to cut tree limbs from a power line along S Pinellas Avenue as apprentice lineman Nick Ceccarini looks on Sept. 11, the day after Hurricane Irma struck Florida. [CHRIS URSO  |   Times]
  3. Yep, 2017 hurricane season really is more intense than normal


    It was only 25 days ago that Hurricane Harvey made landfall.

    A handout satellite image from Sept. 8, 2017, of, from left, Tropical Storm Katia, Hurricane Irma and Tropical Storm Jose, which would intensify into a hurricane. The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season has been unusually active. There have been 13 named storms this year. Only four other seasons since 1995 have had that many by Sept. 18. [NASA/NOAA GOES Project via the New York Times]
  4. Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs could run into their nemesis


    Greg Auman finishes wrapping up the Bucs' win against the Chicago Bears and looks ahead to Sunday's game at Minnesota, where Tampa Bay could run into nemesis Case Keenum, in our latest Cannon Fodder …

    Bucs outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) sacks Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum (17) during a 2016 game. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  5. How to vamp out for Buffyfest in St. Petersburg

    Music & Concerts

    Who's your favorite superhero? I always answer Buffy.

    Photo illustration RON BORRESEN, Photo by Warner Brothers, Photo by SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
Members of the Florida Bjorkestra rehearse, Monday, 3/13/17, at the Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg for their upcoming concert. In the foreground is percussionist Joe Coyle.

Sarah Michelle Gellar