Thursday, December 12, 2013

Blu Homes to Close Its Michigan Offices

On July 7th, I reported that Blu Homes had moved into new digs for their Architectural and design staff and now less than 6 months later they are moving out and relocating everything to their CA factory.

Blu Homes New Michigan Offices

I'm not sure what to make of this other than who abandons new office after just 6 months?  Here is the article from MLIVE:

Eco-friendly, prefab homebuilder Blu Homes plans to close its Ann Arbor office in an effort to consolidate its design and manufacturing operations, a company spokesperson confirmed.

The design hub at 1250 N. Main St., staffed by 38 people, will close in spring 2014, said Blu Homes spokesperson Dana Smith in an email interview.

“We have enthusiastically offered every employee in that office to work from Vallejo, Calif., where the Blu Homes factory is located,” Smith said. “Every employee has been offered relocation packages. The response from employees in Ann Arbor has been positive and we are hopeful that everyone will move to California.”

Along with its factory in Vallejo and design hub in Ann Arbor, Blu Homes has offices in San Francisco and Boston.

Blu Homes taps into technology to allow clients to custom design their own homes on the company’s website. Customers select from different home styles, decide the layout and select the finishes, fixtures, exterior and more. The 3-D software and Google Earth allow clients to see how their new home will look on their land from every angle.

Blu Homes’ products range from studios and cottages to four-bedroom homes. Costs range from $130,000 for a small home that can be used as an addition or cottage, to $590,000. Costs do not include land, the foundation, permits or landscaping.

Blu Homes built close to 100 homes between 2008 and 2012. In late June, the company secured $65 million in investments to allow them to build 15 to 20 display houses in key marketing areas. Smith said Blu Homes is anticipating bookings and revenue to double this year over 2012.

The Ann Arbor Blu Homes office opened in 2011, led in part by Karl Daubmann, a University of Michigan associate professor of Architecture at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. Blu Homes moved to the 3,500-square-foot space on North Main Street in May 2013.

Smith said the company’s design operations will be moved to the Blu Homes factory in Vallejo to improve productivity and enhance innovation.

“Bringing our design, engineering and manufacturing departments under the same roof will greatly increase the pace of innovation and improve collaboration,” Smith said.
It’s unclear how many of the 38 Ann Arbor employees plan to accept relocation packages, but Smith said those decisions will be finalized by January.

Doug Allen of Peter Allen & Associates, the owner of the building at 1250 N. Main St., said he is marketing the 3,500-square-foot Blu Homes office space for lease.

“I do have a number of interested parties,” Allen said. “Obviously, there’s not a lot of space on North Main Street and that’s one of they key character spaces that is super cool and modern that a lot of tenants want to have.”

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for The Ann Arbor News. 


Anonymous said...

Are the owners of Blu Homes finally starting to realize that all the operations should be under one roof or is this the beginning of the end? Only time will tell.
I find it interesting that they have only built 100 homes since 2008 and 20 of them are display homes. That means that they're selling 20 homes a year. Blu Homes is nothing special in the modular home industry.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like more Blu spin,
“We have enthusiastically offered every employee in that office to work from Vallejo, Calif., where the Blu Homes factory is located,”

What does it mean to enthusiastically offer? Did the spin genies run out of breathless adjectives? You will also not they were to work in Vallejo where the blu homes factory is but would not offered jobs at the blu homes factory.

Wow I am dizzy. More spin bookings billings 100 homes so far 80 million how does it all work???