2019 was an exciting and eventful year for Empire Communities, and we’d like to thank all who helped in our momentous achievements, especially the proud homeowners who have chosen to call an Empire community home. As we look back at all our accomplishments from last year, we also look forward to another incredible year in 2020.
A Year of New Beginnings
This year, Empire welcomed countless new homeowners into our communities across North America. We currently have 53 active projects in Canada and the United States, including 10 across Southwestern Ontario; 6 across the GTA; 14 in Houston, Texas; 13 in Austin, Texas; five in San Antonio, Texas; and five in Atlanta, Georgia.
A Year of Giving Back
Empire is proud to give back to the cities and towns we build in, enriching the lives of residents who call our communities home. This year, Empire once again partnered with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to put on fun-filled community events including Field Day, which brought together the best of team spirit and sportsmanship between TiCats players and young fans; and Hospice Day, which gave the hard-working teams at St. Joseph’s and Stedman Community Hospice a VIP stadium tour of Tim Horton’s Field and TiCats tickets as a way of saying thanks for their hard work and dedication. Similarly, our other communities across Southwestern Ontario showed their spirit at the Caledonia and Binbrook Fairs, which brought the community together for an afternoon of fun; everyone that came was given a community-specific pin they can wear proudly for years to come.
A Year of Nurturing Young Minds
In June, Empire patterned with the technology department at McKinnon Park Secondary School in Caledonia to give students unique learning experiences that only a co-op placement can provide. Ten students had the opportunity to participate in most of the stages of new home construction at our Avalon community in Caledonia and Wyndfield site in Brantford (five students per site). The Empire Communities Technological Award was later given to the students who showed an aptitude for the trades and are interested in pursuing a career in construction.
A Year of Lending a Helping Hand: Boys & Girls Club
In partnership with HomeAid Houston, a non-profit organization that aims to change the lives of children in crisis, Empire began construction on a cottage on the campus of Boys and Girls Country in Hockley, Texas. Empire is responsible for every construction stage of the 8,100-square-foot cottage that will include a full kitchen, separate area for the teaching parents, a study, a large family room and eight bedrooms so that each boy that will live there has his own space. The cottage is expected to be complete in early 2020.
A Year of Soaring to New Heights
Our high-rise developments reached new heights this year, with none soaring higher than the Eau du Soleil project in Toronto, which saw its occupants move into the skyline-defining condominium. Phoenix and Maverick both broke ground earlier this year, while Maven and Midtown have progressed so that we’re able to get a glimpse of how they’re going to shape and enhance their communities.
A Year of Expansion
In January 2019, Empire was proud to announce our expansion into the Atlanta market with homebuilder Edward Andrews Homes (EA Homes). We welcomed over 85 new employees to the Empire family, along with 15 new communities. “We’re proud to have an active role building new communities south of the border,” says Sue MacKay, Vice President of Marketing, of the partnership. “We’ve been intentional with the markets we build in and the companies we partner with to ensure we can retain our commitment to building great communities that go beyond brick and mortar.”
A Year of New Endeavours: Discovery Homes
Sustainable construction and energy efficiency have long been part of our culture at Empire, and this year, we challenged ourselves to raise the bar as code changes and efficiency standards are elevated. To stay innovative and ahead of the curve, Empire partnered with EnergySTAR to pilot Discovery Homes at our Riverland community in Breslau, Ontario. Two model homes were designed with some of the most energy-saving and environmentally conscious innovations being tested today. The construction process was not only an exercise in sustainability, but an experiment in research and development that will impact how we will approach the future of homebuilding.
A Year of Industry Recognition
Purpose and passion are behind every Empire project, and our industry recognition reflects that. This year, our Sales and Marketing teams won 35 awards across our Canadian and U.S. markets for Maverick, Phoenix, Life Reimagined, Dellrose, Balmoral, Harper’s Preserve and Reserve at Spring Lakes. Our innovative sales centers and model homes also picked up three awards, including Best Multi-Residential Marketing Centre and Best Interior Merchandising. Additionally, Empire won CustomerInsights’ 2019 Low Rise Builder of Choice and High Rise Best Customer Experience awards.
A Year of Leadership Recognition
Both Nancy Orman, VP of Customer Experience (pictured above, seated second from right), and Paul Corley, Atlanta Regional President, were recognized for outstanding achievements this year. Nancy was a Customer Engagement Leader nominee at the 3rd Annual Women in Leadership Awards by CSPN, while Paul received an award for the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Most Admired CEO.
From new beginnings to milestones achieved, we’d like to thank the homeowners, staff and partners that made 2019 one to remember. We look forward to another remarkable year in 2020 and an exciting decade ahead.