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Taylor-Morley Homes, Inc. - St. Louis-area residential builder

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2008-06-09

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stories: bizjournals.com

From the above Bizjournals article:

Taylor-Morley Homes Inc., once one of the largest home builders in the St. Louis area, ceased operations May 30 after 56 years in business.

...

Taylor told the Business Journalin November that his company got caught in the trap that ensnared some other home builders across the nation. He said his company is sitting on too much land, which it had acquired over the past few years with millions of dollars in loans in anticipation that the housing boom would keep rolling.

...

Taylor-Morley's problems came to a head in late October 2007, when Southwest Bank of St. Louis filed a lawsuit to seize control of more than 300 vacant and partially built lots at five of its developments in St. Louis and St. Charles counties. About the same time, Bank of America foreclosed on more than 170 lots at five other developments. A month before, the company voluntarily surrendered title on 19 lots at another development in south St. Louis County to Commerce Bank.

Bizjournals also reported Taylor-Morley had $74.7 million in revenue in 2006, down from $114.7 million in 2005, $108.4 million in 2004 and $100.2 million in 2003.

But at least Taylor-Morley went out like good guys:

Bill Taylor, head of the Chesterfield, Mo.-based home builder, said his company waited to shut down the business until each home was built for the nearly 80 contracts Taylor-Morley had in backlog as of early last year when the company stopped accepting new home contracts. The last home the company committed to build closed last week.

"We made commitments to everyone involved to uphold our name, reputation and legacy that my father built over the years to get those homes built," Taylor said. "We did everything possible to get that done," including cutting a staff that was 100 in 2006 to less than 10 as of last week to reduce costs.

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Important: This company is on our list of builder operations that have "imploded" (see also ailing lenders). This is a somewhat subjective call, and does not necessarily mean total shutdown or bankruptcy. It can also mean steep and rapid declines in enterprise value; or abnormal "bail-out" by corporate parents or peers in order to continue to operate. The builders may be residential or commercial.