Second-Generation Home Builder By Sheryl Kornman left the famous singing trio to raise her Fairfield Homes AZ is developing six sites for new homes in Southern Arichildren, David and Rex, in Calgary, zona. For five of the projects, President Alberta, Canada. David’s collection of his mother’s gold records and father’s and CEO David Williamson teamed WWII memorabilia, including his Purwith partner Garry Brav, president of ple Heart, is displayed in his office. BFL Construction. The family moved from Canada to Williamson worked with Brav on commercial projects and knew their Paradise Valley, near Phoenix, and Lowcombined experience would make an ell began to buy land in Southern Ariideal homebuilding team. “Garry has a lot of integrity. He’s a very bright man who knows construction.” Williamson is a second-generation developer who has already left a legacy in the desert. He partnered with his father Lowell Williamson and Paul F. Oreffice, of Dow Chemical to acquire the publicly traded Fairfield Homes’ brand in the early 1990s. Residential developments included more than 10,000 homes in Green Valley and Tucson. Fairfield in the Foothills, a community in the Catalina foothills, was one of the company’s most notable early projects. David learned the real estate business working alongside his father. They were – David Williamson partners until his father died in 2012. President & CEO His dad grew up in the Great DepresFairfield Homes AZ sion and studied music. But his educa- tion was interrupted by military service. Flying a B-17 mission toward the end of zona. David left Vanderbilt University World War II, the plane was shot down to join his father and learn the business over Germany. He spent the remainder of real estate. of the war in a POW camp. The expeIn the 1970s, Lowell bought 2,000 rience changed him, and with strong acres of Rooney Ranch. On 500 acres, he built the first destination resort in determination, he moved on to become a successful oil explorer in the United Tucson – now the Hilton El ConquisStates and Canada. tador Golf & Tennis Resort. It featured Through a serendipitous introducthree golf courses, 31 tennis courts, tion, he met one of the McGuire Sisa swimming pool, hiking and jogging ters, Dorothy. They married and she trails, horseback riding and fine dining.
The J-6 Ranch is a really beautiful place, cooler, with a higher elevation than Tucson, at 4,300 feet.
Each room has a view of the mountains. The remaining acreage from this purchase became the modern-day sites for Honeywell and La Reserve. On the eastside, the partners bought 320 acres located at the corner of Sabino Canyon Road and Snyder Road, now the gated community Sabino Mountain. In 1987, the company purchased 540 acres in Green Valley. With more than 1,200 homes built, this is now the Fairfield Homes’ community Las Campanas. The company is currently building the remaining 300 of the 1,590 lots. Homebuilding was a successful part of the Williamsons’ business ventures. From the mid-1990s through early 2000, Fairfield Homes built 250 to 300 homes a year in Green Valley. With a shift in the economy, the company took a break from developing homes and sold sites to Meritage Homes and Pepper Viner Homes in 2001. The Fairfield Homes name and brand, however, remained with the company. David continued with land development and land purchases. The company owns four golf courses and a hotel – the Wyndham Canoa Ranch Hotel in Green Valley. In addition, he sold the site for Green Valley’s first hospital, currently under construction. In 2008, he returned to homebuilding, joining with Brav to form Fairfield Homes AZ – a nod to the brand that has been widely recognized in the region for nearly 40 years. Williamson leads the business end while Brav focuses on construction, his expertise for the past four decades. continued on page 208 >>> > > > BizTucson 207 Winter Winter 2014 2014
The Tucson Region's Business Magazine