Hudsons Shut Avalar Franchise

SARASOTA | Saturday, July 05, 2008

Avalar Real Estate of Sarasota has shuttered its Washington Boulevard office, a franchise that was opened four years ago by Mary Beth and Greg Hudson.

"We chose to close the office and not renew our franchise," said Mary Beth Hudson. "The national Avalar franchises are doing fine." The Hudsons and 12 of their agents recently joined Prudential Palms Realty's downtown Sarasota office.

"We are a pretty close-knit group so they decided wherever Greg and I were going, they would come with us," Mary Beth Hudson said.

In July 2007, the franchisor, Avalar Real Estate and Mortgage Network, based in Las Vegas, named Greg Hudson as one of their real estate franchises' "Elite Real Estate Professionals." "It was a disappointment because Mary Beth and Greg were super to work with," said John Lawrence, Avalar Real Estate's vice president for eastern states. "They had 13 months left on their franchise agreement but they couldn't keep the operation going in such a challenging market." Mary Beth Hudson has been named manager of Prudential Palms' downtown office. Gregory Hudson has been named a "Prudential Palms Fine Homes Specialist." "They were top notch," Lawrence said. "I wish them well at Prudential." Avalar still has an operating franchise in Venice, and 11 others throughout Florida.

Taylor Morrison moves up Bradenton-based home builder Taylor Morrison moved up four places to 13th on Professional Builder magazine's "Giant 400" list of the nation's largest builders in 2008.

The ranking is based on Taylor Morrison's total revenue of $2.4 billion and its 8,195 single-family home closings.

The ranking was achieved after last summer's merger of Taylor Woodrow, which was ranked 17th last year, and Morrison Homes, who was 24th last year.

"We were pretty excited to get to 13," said Steve Kempton, the merged company's president. "It's the reflection of the merger and a lot of hard work in a difficult market." Taylor Morrison in its previous entities has been involved in housing developments throughout Southwest Florida, from Hillsborough to Collier counties, during the last 20 years. Their homes range in price from $120,000 to $1.5 million Locally, it has built the Meadows north of Fruitville Road, the Meridian Towers in Osprey and is now working on Palma Sola Trace in Bradenton, among other subdivisions.

Professional Builder uses a two-step process to develop its "Giant 400" list. First, the magazine's editors determine the 400 largest builders based on the number of homes closed in the previous year. Then they rank those builders' annual revenues.

The volatile housing market has reshuffled the Giant 400 list drastically for the second year in a row, with 108 builders rising 20 or more positions on the list while 86 dropped the same number of spots.

Jennette Properties opens second office Jennette Properties, a property management company specializing in seasonal and annual luxury rentals on Florida's Gulf Coast, has opened a second office at 5899 Whitfield Ave. in Manatee County.

The office is for those looking to lease from the Manatee River south to University Parkway and all of Lakewood Ranch and East Manatee County.

"A strong need for quality and dependability in the East County and Lakewood Ranch area for leasing and property management prompted me to open a second office," Richard Jennette, the owner of the company, said in a statement. "We knew we would only enhance our relationships with our customers by having a permanent presence in this area."

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