Developer celebrates 40 years

Published 11:14 pm Thursday, May 9, 2013

East West has built six communities in and near Suffolk

Midlothian-based developer East West Communities, which has developed several communities in and around Suffolk, is celebrating its 40th anniversary, company officials announced.

In Hampton Roads, the company developed The Riverfront in Suffolk, Gatling Pointe and Gatling Pointe South in Smithfield, Eagle Harbor and Founders Pointe in Isle of Wight and Liberty Ridge in Williamsburg.

“These Hampton Roads communities are now home to nearly 3,500 families and collectively have won numerous awards, including being a 10-time recipient of the Community of the Year award, a three-time Best Community award-winner, and being the only Hampton Roads community to receive the Tidewater Builders Association’s Hall of Fame award,” a news release states.


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In all, East West has developed 25 communities housing more than 20,000 residents along the East Coast.

Branch Lawson, president of East West Communities in Hampton Roads and a 32-year veteran of the firm, stated, “We recognized a unique niche in the housing market: residential communities that offer a resort-like atmosphere with world-class amenities and a diverse range of homes, architecture, and home values.

“In addition, we wanted to become leaders in the industry of environmentally sensitive, innovative-planned communities.”

The company owes “countless thanks” to the builders, Realtors, lenders, local government officials and other partners it has worked with over the years, and “most importantly” to homebuyers, Lawson added.

“These relationships have contributed greatly to our successes in Hampton Roads,” he stated.

During the early 1970s, Sea Pines Co. bought several thousand acres on Hilton Head Island and began developing Brandermill, according to a company timeline.

In 1977, the 2,600-acre community was named The Best Planned Community in America by the National Association of Homebuilders and Better Homes & Gardens magazine.

In the 1980s, the company expanded and developed the 1,400-acre Woodlake, chosen Best Community in America by the 14,000-member Urban Land Institute.

“The success of East West Communities is a product of what our employees, our partners, and our builders contribute,” stated Mark Edwards, senior vice president of sales.

“It is the ideas, the spirit, and the commitment of these people that keep us ahead of the competition and continuing to produce communities that people of all ages desire to live in.”

This commitment has also helped East West weather five major recessions, Edwards stated.

“Very few developers today can make the claim to be strong and vibrant after 40 years, not to mention following the most recent Great Recession,” he stated.

“Today, East West Communities is a flourishing development company that presents an incomparable record of experience and achievement across multiple states.”