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Bob Adams, right, is the president of Highland Homes, and his son, Joel, is the company's executive vice president. The Lakeland-based home builder recently ranked No. 81 on the 2016 Builder 100 list.

PROVIDED TO THE LEDGER

By John Ceballos
The Ledger

Published: Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 5:03 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 5:03 p.m.

LAKELAND — After barely missing the cut last year, Highland Homes recently rejoined some rather exclusive company.

The Lakeland-based home builder placed No. 81 on the 2016 Builder 100. Each year, Builder — a monthly publication — releases a ranking of the top 200 home-building companies in the United States.

In addition to the annual Builder 100, the magazine compiles a Next 100 list that ranks companies No. 101 through 200. Last year, Highland Homes landed on the Next 100, placing No. 102.

The Builder 100 is based on a comprehensive survey of the home-building companies themselves. It is also based on home closings, not housing starts or sales.

“Because we have more affordably priced homes, we do better on lists that rank number of units closed versus dollar value,” said Bob Adams, president of Highland Homes. “It's a very competitive industry, and I've been at this for more than 40 years, so we take a lot of pride in getting this recognition.”

Adams, 75, established his first building company — Sun State Homes — at age 27, along with fellow founding partner Don Stephens. In 1996, the company closed and Adams established Highland Homes with son Joel, who serves as the company's executive vice president.

Highland Homes — which serves Polk, Hillsborough, Lake, Manatee, Marion, Orange, Osceola and Pasco counties — logged 485 closings and million in revenue last year.

“This year, we should close over 600 homes, which is about three times what our number was when we bottomed out in '11,” Adams said.

Highland Homes was one of seven builders that made the jump from last year's Next 100 into the 2016 Builder 100. The company previously cracked the Builder 100 list in 2011 (No. 100), 2010 (No. 73), and 2009 (No. 84).

While Adams and his company have earned plenty of accolades for their past and present work, they are also interested in helping maintain the industry's future.

Alice and Chuck Hunt, who operate Lakeland-based Hunt Construction of Central Florida, established a program to help Polk students in grades K-12 learn about the building industry in 1995, the same year Chuck served as president of the Polk County Builders Association.

“Bob was already a solid figure there (at the PCBA) and a mentor on how to do business,” Alice Hunt said. “He realized the impact the program was having and stepped up in an extremely generous way.”

Hunt said Adams has been a consistent supporter of the program's Blueprint & Model Competition along with the PCBA Foundation, which is the charitable arm of the builders' association.

The top 3 spots on the 2016 Builder 100 list were occupied by D.R. Horton (36,736 closings, .9 billion in revenue), Lennar Corp. (24,292 closings, .5 billion), and PulteGroup (17,127 closings, billion).

“For us, this represents an ability to stand alongside companies that build nationwide and measure themselves in billions of dollars,” Adams said.

—John Ceballos can be reached at or 863-802-7515.

Lakeland's Highland Homes cracks Builder 100 listBy John Ceballos TheLedger.comMay 25, 2016 5:03 PM

<p>LAKELAND — After barely missing the cut last year, Highland Homes recently rejoined some rather exclusive company.</p><p>The Lakeland-based home builder placed No. 81 on the 2016 Builder 100. Each year, Builder — a monthly publication — releases a ranking of the top 200 home-building companies in the United States.</p><p>In addition to the annual Builder 100, the magazine compiles a Next 100 list that ranks companies No. 101 through 200. Last year, Highland Homes landed on the Next 100, placing No. 102.</p><p>The Builder 100 is based on a comprehensive survey of the home-building companies themselves. It is also based on home closings, not housing starts or sales.</p><p>“Because we have more affordably priced homes, we do better on lists that rank number of units closed versus dollar value,” said Bob Adams, president of Highland Homes. “It's a very competitive industry, and I've been at this for more than 40 years, so we take a lot of pride in getting this recognition.”</p><p>Adams, 75, established his first building company — Sun State Homes — at age 27, along with fellow founding partner Don Stephens. In 1996, the company closed and Adams established Highland Homes with son Joel, who serves as the company's executive vice president.</p><p>Highland Homes — which serves Polk, Hillsborough, Lake, Manatee, Marion, Orange, Osceola and Pasco counties — logged 485 closings and million in revenue last year.</p><p>“This year, we should close over 600 homes, which is about three times what our number was when we bottomed out in '11,” Adams said.</p><p>Highland Homes was one of seven builders that made the jump from last year's Next 100 into the 2016 Builder 100. The company previously cracked the Builder 100 list in 2011 (No. 100), 2010 (No. 73), and 2009 (No. 84).</p><p>While Adams and his company have earned plenty of accolades for their past and present work, they are also interested in helping maintain the industry's future.</p><p>Alice and Chuck Hunt, who operate Lakeland-based Hunt Construction of Central Florida, established a program to help Polk students in grades K-12 learn about the building industry in 1995, the same year Chuck served as president of the Polk County Builders Association.</p><p>“Bob was already a solid figure there (at the PCBA) and a mentor on how to do business,” Alice Hunt said. “He realized the impact the program was having and stepped up in an extremely generous way.”</p><p>Hunt said Adams has been a consistent supporter of the program's Blueprint & Model Competition along with the PCBA Foundation, which is the charitable arm of the builders' association.</p><p>The top 3 spots on the 2016 Builder 100 list were occupied by D.R. Horton (36,736 closings, .9 billion in revenue), Lennar Corp. (24,292 closings, .5 billion), and PulteGroup (17,127 closings, billion).</p><p>“For us, this represents an ability to stand alongside companies that build nationwide and measure themselves in billions of dollars,” Adams said.</p><p><i>—John Ceballos can be reached at or 863-802-7515.</p>

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