Parade of Homes Sees High Participation
The Parade of Homes has become more than just a showcase for beautiful houses built by members of the Manatee-Sarasota Building Industry Association. With an 18-percent increase in the number of homes involved this year over last, leadership for the organization has come to view the two-week event as a metric on industry confidence. “The Parade of Homes specifically was designed as a marketing tool we created for our members, but the event has become a bellwether of how the economy is coming along,” said Jon Mast, CEO for the Manatee-Sarasota BIA.
There were more than 6,000 new homes contracted in Manatee and Sarasota counties, according to the BIA, creating tens of thousands of jobs in the region. “The creation of more than 6,000 new homes last year in Sarasota and Manatee counties adds millions to the existing tax base,” said Jimmy Stewart, Stock Development president and president of the BIA. “And that is before the sales, gas and other taxes are included, along with the economic impact of thousands of workers spending in the community. It’s nice to see that our market is leading the state."
The 18-percent growth in participation, to Mast, shows a boost not just in the number of builders doing business, but who are putting out high-end product worthy or award consideration. That seems an especially important indicator when you realize there has been a 70-percent increase in the number of participating homes over 2013.
Quality of work has also gone up this year, Mast said, with plenty of builders excited to take home honors. Jon Cannon Homes won four Best Overall awards this year in the design category while Neal Communities, Lee Wetherington Homes, Medallion Homes and Homes by Towne each took two Best Overall awards each in certain price categories. Mattamy Homes, M/I Homes and Palma Sola Bay Development each won two Best Overall awards for designs of condominiums. In best pools, Coast to Coast won seven awards, ArtisTree Landscape won four and Trent Culleny Landscape Contractor won three.
Photo Courtest BIA: Lisa Marie Burgess picks up an award for John Cannon Homes at the Parade of Homes Gala on March 3 at the Hyatt Regency.