President Scott Davis called the meeting to order at approximately 12:03 pm. in the McCarter Room at Worthington Hills Country Club. Scott began by recognizing all the CMBA Past Presidents including special guests. Next Scott gave the announcements. Jackie Chivington, Chairman of the “Money Matters” Committee thanked everyone who volunteered to assist at Westerville South High School on the 8th of April. There was a good article in the Westerville News about how impressed the mayor was with the content of the program and how well the teens responded to it. Jackie then asked for volunteers for the final simulation of the year, scheduled on May 22nd at the Groveport High School. Scott reminded everyone of the OMBA Convention being held May 5th – 7th in Cincinnati. Our next General Meeting will be a breakfast after which we will hear from Franklin County Auditor, Clarence E. Mingo II. A new Class A Membership was announced for Commerce National Bank, Greg Valentino will be the voting member and a 2ndReading was given for Fifth Third Bank, Stephanie Green will be the voting member. The meeting was suspended at 12:15 for lunch.
The meeting resumed at 12:37 with the introduction of Brian Jimenez, President of the Building Industry Association of Central Ohio and co-owner of Jimenez-Haid Builders. He informed us that the Parade of Homes, an annual builder event since 1957, will be at Trails End located at St. Rt. 315 and Home Rd. in Delaware County. It will be held July 19th through August 3rd and will have 12 builders displaying homes. It was scheduled later in this year due to the weather. The tough years for builders began in 2006 and central Ohio lost 70% of their builders. Generally they have had 4,000 starts a year and as high as 10,000 but recently it has been around 2,500. We need jobs for growth. He is cautiously optimistic as permits are up and traffic is up, but starts are still down. Costs are going up and if interest rates go up, it could kill the market. It is hard to find land to develop and they have lost many workers and electricians and framers are in short supply. Kids have gone to college and graduated but they can’t pay their loans because they cannot find jobs in their fields. They need to educate students in Middle School that they have the option to learn construction jobs. Most of the people still in the business are older adults.
Jim Hilz also spoke and told everyone that both HomeQuest (homes that have been renovated) and CondoQuest were going on right now. Traffic is up and in this 1st quarter of the year condos builds are up 107%., the sales percent is up 17%, and permits are up 7% over 2013. Prices are up 14% but sales of lots are down. There have been 50,000 new jobs added since 2010 and the average income is $50,000. Dublin is adapting to what borrowers want however, Delaware County is not. Lot prices are high in Delaware County. Columbus is a model city for builders and it has less work for builders. In Delaware County, north of Home Rd. and Sawmill Rd., and in Liberty Township, they are trying to build 1,700 units but they need approval to put in sewers. They submitted applications to the township 18 months ago but still have not received approval. They need statewide building codes and a stop to the battles between cities and townships. Townships generally do not work well with builders. BIA now has a new website for builders to show their properties and the communities in which they are building.
Scott thanked both Mr. Jimenez and Mr. Hilz for speaking and then reminded everyone of our next meeting which will be a breakfast on June 5th with Franklin County Auditor, Clarence E. Mingo II as speaker. The meeting was then adjourned at 1:12 pm.