The nation’s best-known brand of active adult communities, Del Webb, is expanding its national footprint to the Tampa Bay and Orlando areas.

Following its August 2009 merger with Centex Homes, Pulte Homes, Inc. embarked on an innovative strategy through which it will align its specific brands with defined homebuyer segments, from the first-time homebuyer (Centex) to the move-up market (Pulte Homes) and active adult (Del Webb). As a result, Southshore Falls, a Centex-branded active adult community in Apollo Beach will be rebranded as a Del Webb community, and La Cresta by Del Webb will be renamed to Del Webb Orlando to better align to the draw of the many seeking an active adult lifestyle in the Orlando area—a popular tourism destination.

“One of the benefits of the Centex-Pulte merger is the ability to fully leverage our brands across all buyer segments and look for opportunities to rebrand communities to better reflect what each of the brands stand for,” said Deborah Meyer, senior vice president and Chief Marketing Officer for Pulte Homes, Inc., corporate parent of the Del Webb brand. “Del Webb has one of the best brand names in the homebuilding industry and homebuyers know what to expect in a Del Webb community with its rich amenities and facilitated lifestyle. This strong brand has delivered on the lifestyle promise.”

According to Meyer, early success in positive traffic and market share results are springing from the company’s implementation of its brand program, specifically the recently re-branded communities Alegria by Del Webb in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Rancho Del Lago by Del Webb in Tucson, Arizona.

Southshore Falls is a community of approximately 850 homes just south of Tampa that was originally opened in 2004 as a Centex active adult community. By bringing Southshore Falls under the Del Webb umbrella, the community will offer a structure, amenities and activities in line with the unparalleled Del Webb lifestyle. The company is investing more than $1.5 million in design and lifestyle upgrades to deliver on the Del Webb promise.

Set to grand open in June, La Cresta by Del Webb in Davenport, Fla. will be renamed to Del Webb Orlando. Last July, Pulte Homes ceased sales and construction operations at this community while legal issues with the land developer were resolved. Today, revised construction plan includes approximately 830 homes, plus a much-anticipated $6 million state-of-the-art amenity center with indoor and outdoor pools, fitness center, new walking trails, and other amenities.

“Today’s Baby Boomers have a variety of options to where to move to when they retire, but are still lured to Florida by its low cost of living, affordable housing prices, proximity to the coast, no income tax, and tropical climate,” said Scott Campbell, division president of Central Florida operations for Del Webb. “We see a great opportunity to capitalize on this market segment by rebranding Southshore Falls and Del Webb Orlando to drive better results in traffic, sales and profitability.”

Florida is still a popular retirement destination

According to Campbell, the active adult sector in the United States is continuing to explode in size around the country. In 2005, there were approximately 50 million Americans between the ages of 55 and 75, which is right in the core target for Del Webb. By the year 2020, that group is going to grow to nearly 80 million according to U.S. Census projections.

“Through our Del Webb studies, Baby Boomers have told us that Florida continues to be an option for their home in retirement. Southshore Falls and Del Webb Orlando will offer our homeowners a premier location in Florida, where lifestyle is incorporated into the community, allowing people living there to enjoy a wide variety of activities – fitness, social activities, and coordinated trips to the local theater or ball game. All of these things, you can’t get at a traditional community,” said Campbell.

According to the Del Webb Baby Boomer Survey, about one-third of Baby Boomers plan to move to a new home during retirement with approximately half of them planning to move to a different state. Additionally, Baby Boomers indicated that Florida is a top five contender on where to move to. Del Webb has conducted 10 national Baby Boomer studies since 1996. The studies are designed to help the Company understand what the nation’s 78 million aging Boomers will want from retirement and from “retirement” communities.

The full results of the 2010 survey will be available in April.

Additionally, according to a University of Florida study, Florida's retiree population steadily surged over the last half-century, going from 8.6 percent of the population in 1950 to 17.6 percent in 2000. That number is set to balloon even more when Florida's current retiree population -- 3.3 million residents 65 or older -- will jump to 4.6 million in 2020 and 6.3 million in 2030,the study projects. That far outstrips the expected growth rate among working-age residents.

Company officials expect to host a grand opening event for Southshore Falls in late April, and Del Webb Orlando to grand open in June.

For more information about the Del Webb communities, visit www.delwebb.com.

About Del Webb

Award-winning Del Webb active adult communities provide a vibrant, facilitated lifestyle for those age 55 and older throughout America providing an unmatched lifestyle for life’s second act. Del Webb communities began with the original Sun City which opened outside Phoenix, Arizona in 1960 and have grown to include more than 50 communities currently open for new home sales in 21 states. Del Webb is the best-known brand of active adult communities in America.

About Pulte Homes

Pulte Homes, Inc., (NYSE: PHM) based in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., is one of America’s largest home building companies with operations in 69 markets, 29 states and the District of Columbia. The Company has an unmatched capacity to meet the needs of all buyer segments through its brand portfolio that includes Pulte Homes, Centex and Del Webb, as well as its regional brands of DiVosta Homes (Florida) and Fox & Jacobs (Texas). In 2009, Pulte Homes brands received more top rankings than any other homebuilder in the annual J.D. Power and Associates 2009 New-Home Builder Customer Satisfaction Study sm. Pulte Mortgage LLC is a nationwide lender offering Pulte customers a variety of loan products and superior service.

Web sites: www.pulteinc.com; www.pulte.com; www.centex.com; www.delwebb.com; www.divosta.com; www.foxandjacobs.com

Copyright Business Wire 2010