For the past 18 years, Ivory Homes has led the field as Utah's top homebuilder. This week, it reached another milestone: the completion of its 10,000th home.
And despite a changing, challenging market, the company's top executive said Friday that Ivory Homes will step up the pace — introducing new products and new designs, and breaking into new markets.
"You haven't seen anything yet," Clark Ivory, Ivory Homes' chief executive officer, said at a Friday gala marking the 10,000-home milestone. "It has taken us 23 years to build our first 10,000 homes. I figure that it's going to take us somewhere between seven or eight years to build our next 10,000."
This year alone, Ivory said the company is slated to complete 1,120 homes in Utah. Ivory Homes is developing new projects at 52 sites along the Wasatch Front, plus a 1,072-unit development in St. George.
It's growth is fueled by demand, and Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon said Ivory Homes has distinguished itself by its ability to discern needs in the market.
"Through the years, the Ivory family and Ivory Homes have made great contributions to our community because they saw a need and filled it," Corroon said.
Utah has "an insatiable appetite right now for homes," he said. "Our in-state growth rate, combined with in-migration, stretches our housing resources. And since we are a desirable destination for businesses and family relocation, that pressure will continue."
But the market is changing, Ivory said. With the rate of home price appreciation and materials prices — particularly for asphalt — increasing, Ivory said the company will meet the market by making adjustments of its own.
"We do believe that the market is adjusting, and will be a little bit more challenging," Ivory said. "We're meeting that by bringing on the new townhome division for the new year, and opening up our operations in St. George, where we're hitting the affordable pricing point."
Founded in the early 1980s by Ellis R. Ivory, Ivory Homes began building homes in its own developments in 1983. Ellis Ivory, chairman of the board of directors of Deseret News Publishing Co., sold Ivory Homes to Clark Ivory in 2000.
To mark the 10,000th home completion, Ivory Homes donated $10,000 to 10 local non-profit organizations, including The United Way of Salt Lake, the Utah Food Bank and Centro de la Familia.
"When all is said and done, when we're all gone, I think the only thing that we're bequeathing to the next generation is our land and the air that we breathe, and a sense of humanity," said Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. "But that sense of humanity all starts in the home. You've got to have a home. You've got to have homes in all shapes and sizes, in a range of prices, to make society work. You've got to have a company committed to excellence to make that work.
"It's a family business you're looking at here, with Ivory Homes. They're doing it right. They're doing it with a sense of dedication to the state. They're doing it with a sense of humanity. And they're doing it with the idea that we can give back to our community."