Oklahoma tornadoes: Builder has to tear down to rebuild

Why is a homebuilder taking out demolition permits? Blame the May 20 tornado that tore up Moore and south Oklahoma City.
by Richard Mize Published: October 12, 2013
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Here's are a few distinct rarities as far as city construction permits go:

“Ideal Homes of Norman LP, 15200 Stillwind Drive, demolition, residence.”

“Ideal Homes of Norman LP, 1205 SW 151 Circle, demolition, residence.”

“Ideal Homes of Norman LP, 1208 SW 151 Circle, demolition, residence.”

And two more teardowns, at 15208 Stillwind Drive and 15212 Stillwind Drive.

Why is homebuilder Ideal Homes tearing down its houses?

It's not, of course. Not exactly.

Call it statistical debris.

“We had five houses near completion in our Featherstone neighborhood that were damaged by the May (20) tornado,” said Steve Shoemaker, vice president of marketing for Ideal Homes. “The day after the storm, we met our structural engineer on site to determine the extent of the damage. We concluded that a total rebuild, including the slab, was in order.”

Most of city inspections were already complete on the homes, Shoemaker said. “so in order to ‘reset' the inspections for the city, they asked us to apply for demolition permits.”

It is more than additional paperwork, though. Ideal Homes is starting the homes over — from the dirt up.

“We're building the exact same houses on the same sites,” Shoemaker said.

The tornado did not set Ideal Homes back otherwise, he said.

“We have not seen a slowdown in sales since the Moore twister. We are currently building in our last section in Country Place on the south side of SW 134 between Penn and May, and will break ground on two new Moore neighborhoods in late 2013, Native Plains and Arrowleaf at Native Plains, on the north side of SW 164 between Penn and Western,” he said.

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by Richard Mize
Real Estate Editor
Real estate editor Richard Mize has edited The Oklahoman's weekly residential real estate section and covered housing, commercial real estate, construction, development, finance and related business since 1999. From 1989 to 1999, he worked...
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