Randall Lewis Talks About How Design Matters to Second Class of ULI Industry Leaders Program
Lecture Focused on Design of Master Planned Communities by Lewis Operating Corp.
Lewis Operating Corp. is a leading developer of master planned communities in the Western United States, now in its 60th year. A family business, many long-tenured employees are under the direction of second and third generation management teams. Since 1955, the Lewis organization has developed new communities in California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah, totaling in excess of 25,000 acres and housing more than 100,000 families. In 1999, the Lewis family sold a portion of its business, Lewis Homes, to Kaufman and Broad (KB Home), creating the largest homebuilder in the United States at that time.
Randall Lewis oversees the sales and marketing operations of the company. He is regarded as an industry leader in promoting the arts, education, healthy living and sustainable development initiatives. Named in the Los Angeles Times 2006 “West 100” list as one of the top 100 influential people in southern California, he has also received the California Business Properties Association Champion of the Industry Award and has been inducted into the California Building Industry Association Hall of Fame.
Randall built his reputation on the company’s tradition of quality, integrity and stability His strict adherence to ethics, kindness and giving back has developed many long term relationships and a long term strategy for growth. He is very much a stickler for details and has a sense of obligation to look for transformative innovation that will make a difference. The company as a whole is very research oriented with a business model focused on innovation and always asking what they can do that is different.
Business strategies include heavy investment in infrastructure to create communities that address the highest aspirations of the people who live within them. Understanding that open space equals peace of mind, parks promote healthful living and recreation centers kindle community spirit, Lewis creates key amenities early in the development process. “Buyers don't buy green bananas,” stated Randall. “They are looking for infrastructure already in place and we are always seeking ways to move time tables up to meet expectations, together with providing touch points throughout the buyers’ journey.” An example of the company’s leading technology is the lightning-fast, fiber-optic cable being built into the project at Park Place in Ontario. Quality and vision for a healthy place to live go hand in hand throughout their planning and development process.
Focusing on long term value, Lewis Operating Corp. works with builders on quality control and supplementing their market knowledge, including sharing extensive research on what buyers are looking for in a home and a community.
Constantly seeking new inspiration, Randall enjoys spending time with people and working with consultants who are passionate about what they do and take pride in every project with a sense of empathy as if it were their own. He looks at many other industries for insights into innovation, such as IDEO, an international design and consulting firm and Stanford University, one of the world's leading research and teaching institutions.
Among the challenges he sees in the homebuilding industry are its cycles coupled with fierce competition, along with a significant shift in water conservation that will add to the price of homes. Top trending opportunities he cited include next generation development, inside and outside of the homes, for multigenerational families and also the three story density model with features such as roof decks. He also sees a way to bring down prices is allowing buyers to upgrade their homes over time versus a turnkey concept. For more insights into Lewis Operating Corp. visit http://www.lewisop.com.
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