Arbor Homes expands into Louisville market with acquisition

The Indianapolis area’s largest home builder has acquired one of the biggest builders in Louisville, the companies announced Monday.

In a deal that closed Oct. 31, Arbor Homes took ownership of Elite Homes Inc., marking Arbor’s first entry into a territory outside of central Indiana.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Arbor, founded in 1994, filed 1,205 building permits in Indianapolis in 2018, up from 1,066 in 2017. It closed on 1,125 homes last year, with sales primarily in suburban areas on all sides of Indianapolis.

Focusing on the entry-level market, Arbor’s average home price last year was $213,000.

Elite, founded in 1976, was ranked the fourth largest builder in the Louisville by Louisville Business First, based on homes completed in 2018. The company has built and sold about 2,500 homes since its founding, including 144 homes last year.

It is currently developing nine communities, with homes ranging from $300,000 to over $600,000.

Arbor was acquired in July 2018 by Merryville, Tennessee-based Clayton Properties Group Inc., a division of Berkshire Hathaway, but maintains its headquarters in Indianapolis.

Curtis Rector, co-founder and president of Arbor, told IBJ last year that the Clayton deal would provide opportunities for Arbor to expand into other markets. But the company said it will remain active in central Indiana.

“Arbor has been interested in expanding into the Louisville market for quite some time,” the company said Tuesday in an emailed statement. “This acquisition allows the builder to grow its market footprint into a new market that is close to Indianapolis. We will continue to be dedicated to bringing affordable housing into the Indianapolis area and feel it remains to be an underserved market. We look forward to continued growth in our home city.”

Arbor said it does not have current plans to expand into other markets.

The company plans to maintain the Elite Homes brand for the move-up market. Meanwhile, Arbor expects to bring entry-level homes into the Louisville community under its brand, helping to fill what it sees as a void in the market.

“I am thrilled that Elite Homes is joining the Arbor Homes team,” Elite CEO Joe Pusateri said in written comments. “From the first time I met Curtis Rector, I felt we connected on many levels. We share the same values as they relate to our team members, customers and giving back to the community. This also creates many growth opportunities for our employees, subcontractors and suppliers.”

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