Gary Aulik in Finance & Commerce

This article was originally written in 2010, when Gary Aulik was the President of the Builder's Association of the Twin Cities (BATC).

This year marked a turning point for new residential construction
Posted: 1:06 pm Mon, December 20, 2010
By  GARY AULIK


Gary Aulik
Association: Builders Association of the Twin Cities

Editor’s note: Any viewpoints expressed in Association Update columns are not necessarily those of Finance & Commerce.

Like most Americans, those of us in the housing industry are hopeful that the coming year will confirm that the worst of this recession is behind us. In the Twin Cities, 2010 was a turning point for new residential construction. With permits and units falling slowly and then precipitously from 2003 to 2009, the slight rebound in 2010 (up about 30 percent from 2009 and nearly equivalent to 2008) was truly welcome.

Our builders and remodelers have worked hard to tighten their belts and optimize their organizations to make it through these past few years. We’ve lost some exceptional companies and talent, and we will likely continue to see a few good firms close their doors this winter. But those of us who remain are stronger and committed to bringing affordable, durable and quality housing choices to Twin Cities families.

My term as president of the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC) is over at the end of 2010, so as I prepare to turn the leadership over to Rich Riemersma of Imperial Homes, I have been reflecting upon our challenges and successes. One of our most trying challenges has also brought us our best success: After the resignation of our executive director in February, we launched a search which brought us David Siegel, who has already brought a fresh and exciting new energy to BATC.

Another challenge has been in the green arena. We are convinced that Twin Cities families are interested in making their homes more energy efficient and reducing their environmental footprint. But homeowners, builders and remodelers need a program that is workable, effective and affordable. We are committed to bringing just such a program to our communities.

Our Parade of HomesSM events have welcomed an increasing number of visitors to new and remodeled homes on the tour. We’ve successfully integrated an online open house directory that is reaching families looking for new homes all year around. We’re engaging more of the public on our social media sites, and in spring 2010, we’ll launch our new iPhone app and mobile website to ensure Parade of Homes touring is easier than ever.

The Twin Cities is an exceptional region in which to work and live. It’s been a pleasure and an honor serving as the president of the Builders Association of the Twin Cities and to be able to share some of our experiences and thoughts with the readers of Finance & Commerce. Thank you, and here’s to a successful and profitable New Year to all.

Gary Aulik is the outgoing president of the Builders Association of the Twin Cities. More information about the group is available at www.batc.org.