Builders like Palm Coast-based Intracoastal Construction are welcoming the rebound that continues to signal growth in the home building market.

In April more than 500,000 new homes began the construction phase in the southern region of the United States, according to National Home Builders Association reports, and builders like Palm Coast-based Intracoastal Construction are welcoming the rebound that continues to signal growth in the home building market.

In an industry that was decimated during the great recession with about 80 permits issued in 2010, last year’s 1,300 permits pulled in Flagler County came with a sigh of relief, and this year is on track to meet or exceed last year’s numbers.

It’s been a roll of the dice for those in the industry. Some home builders were forced to close their doors when the recession hit, while others consolidated or hunkered down to wait it out.

Forming in May 2018, Intracoastal Construction brings together three men with decades of home building and real estate experience. But had you asked them 15 years ago if they’d be working together today, they’d have said it would never happen.

Longtime residents of Palm Coast can take you back to the early days — the ITT days, as they call it. In the mid-1980s and '90s, Rod Kimberley served as national sales manager for the ITT Community Development Corporation before diving into the luxury home business for more than two decades. Combining his knowledge of community development and passion for sales, Kimberley is vice president of sales for Intracoastal Construction.

Partner Robbie Richmond, president and co-owner of Intracoastal Construction, is no stranger to custom home building in Flagler County. In addition to decades of experience starting in 1991, he was elected by colleagues to serve as president of the Flagler County Home Builders Association twice, and Richmond is in the process of becoming a Florida-certified master builder.

“Actually Rob (Richmond) and I were competitors but both of us have gone through some transitions with our former companies, and the good Lord brought us together,” said Kimberley. “Between the two of us, over the last 24 years we’ve built over 800 homes here, so they know our names, but our main focus is getting Intracoastal the brand built here.”

Joining forces, the pair, along with co-owner Jim Theodore, hope to capitalize on trends in the market to offer the complete package to those who walk through their doors in the European Village complex. From custom-design build to finance and interior decoration, it’s about a luxury experience from start to finish.

“The homes are not tending to be as large because those formal areas are going away, but the customers want a higher fit and finish than they used to want,” said Richmond. “We’re seeing a lot more modern contemporary.”

After hosting a ribbon-cutting on Friday, the builders say their European Village location, which actually opened in December 2018, is a good fit to reach their demographic and showcase what they have to offer.

“We’re in a healthy real estate and construction market currently and it’s a good opportunity for a true custom builder that can serve the needs of Flagler County,” said Richmond.