Case Studies

Lemmon & Lemmon Inc.

Combining Luxury and Senior Housing in Ohio

Bill Lemmon, president and owner of development company Lemmon & Lemmon Inc. (LLI), was a certified Member of the Appraisal Institute (MAI) and respected real-estate developer for 27 years when, in 1988, he was bitten by the construction bug. Lemmon remained an appraiser till 2000, while simultaneously developing his passion for building and consummately stylish and sturdy apartment complexes.

Bill felt that the building industry in the Akron-Canton region of northeast Ohio needed something more, particularly in terms of senior housing. This is one of the main reasons that LLI still holds itself to the five-fold founding principle of building homes and apartments with quality, trust, style, affordability and value. LLI believes all people deserve to live in affordable comfort.

Building from the Ground Up

“We started exclusively as an apartment builder, and then branched into single-family homes and condominiums,” Bill states. “We did that until the ‘great crash’ five years ago, and since then we’ve been focusing more on apartments and senior housing.” While LLI has made leaps and bounds with its development of new homes and memory care facilities for the elderly, it’s a company that’s always looking for ways to meet needs not met by other builders in the industry. Bill and his seasoned staff of 14 pull from their 40-plus years of experience to bring new ideas to the table, and execute them in an efficient and timely manner.

Sometimes LLI finds itself in a construction management, land development or property management role, and sometimes it plays all three parts having built well over 1,500 apartments still managed by Brookwood Management Company, also owned by Bill Lemmon. Whatever aspect of a development LLI handles, the company shares excitement and efficiency with all involved. “We did do a lot of land development when homes consistently were being built,” recalls Bill. Despite the dip in the residential housing market, LLI has continued to manage all its property in-house and avoid many of the pitfalls that caused other homebuilding companies to fail.

A Diverse Portfolio for a Diverse Company

The company’s diversified approach to construction is evident in the multiple parts LLI plays in the process, and also in its body of work. One project that displays LLI’s innovative approach is its plans for its latest apartment complex in Wooster, Ohio. It’s a 128-unit complex of four buildings that combine 82 regular market apartments with 46 assisted living units, and the development groundbreaking will occur later in 2012.

LLI manages the construction of a great deal of assisted living facilities and senior housing, but it doesn’t necessarily work on nursing home or hospice facilities. However, it does incorporate other amenities to the buildings geared toward elderly occupants. The company recently completed work on a combination independent/assisted senior living apartment complex in Westerville, Ohio, which also includes memory care services. The 135-unit building is a licensed assisted living facility, and overlooks a horse farm and the city park. “It’s a beautiful environment in an upscale community,” observes Bill. LLI also completed work on a 43-unit assisted living building in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, in a charming suburban Akron neighborhood.

As nice as these developments are, the company is constantly topping itself with each new project. LLI is driven to make life easier and commodious for seniors, and enjoys working on the higher end of the spectrum as well. Under construction is one of LLI’s most ambitious undertakings, which is an $8.5 million luxury apartment building in Westerville, Ohio. The facility is specifically designed and geared toward elderly homeowners who are looking to continue enjoying a pleasant lifestyle without having to maintain a house. “We like to give people options,” admits Bill, regarding the multiple types of developments underway at LLI.

In addition, LLI is currently planning to start two apartment communities – containing 40 and 36 units, respectively – in the North Canton area, with completion planned for 2013. A senior housing community containing approximately 150 units is also in the preliminary stage for a site in Columbus, Ohio, with construction to start in 2013. Despite LLI’s heavy backlog of work, the company still knows to count its blessings.

“We’ve been fortunate in that all our properties have been very successful,” opines Bill. “My MAI background helps us with marketing and appraising. We’re able to see the direction the market’s going, and go with it. It is also important to note that I didn’t accomplish these projects by myself. Not only do I have a terrific staff at LLI, but also I have highly valued business partners. These include Donald W. Kelley, a Columbus developer and appraiser who has been a partner for 50 years, my son-in-law Ronald Eberly in Columbus, and my Canton area partner Robert DeHoff, a very successful local realtor and developer.”

While LLI may be a small company, it makes big plans and follows through on them. Many of the company’s homes and apartment buildings stand out on their own, with their designer entrances, inspired lofts, cathedral ceilings and sunrooms. The company’s target projects may have shifted toward the senior market, but LLI’s priorities are the same as they were the day of its inception. From its home base in North Canton, Ohio, Lemmon & Lemmon Inc. will continue to build quality neighbors and a reputation that, like residents, will grow and thrive with age.

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