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As Builders Shed Projects, Epcon Sees Opportunity


Epcon Communities builds housing developments for the 55-plus crowd.

Epcon Communities Franchising signed seven new franchisees this year, including five in the last month during COVID-19, by emphasizing the law of supply and demand.

"When demand goes down, franchisees can negotiate," said Jad Buckman, business development director, on everything from land prices to loan terms.  

"This is a time when a great percentage of folks are operating from a place of fear and uncertainty. We've taken the tack that we're going to find opportunities that weren't there a month ago on the land and development side," he said, adding there's an advantage "when you're the only one looking to go."

"There's also a lot of people trying to get out of projects and free up liquidity. Maybe a deal wouldn't pencil before, but now it will."

Even municipalities are more accessible than before in some cases. "Maybe it'd be six weeks before getting a meeting," he said. "But now you can get on the agenda next week," via Zoom. 

Epcon is a real estate development and production home-building franchise founded in 1996 to build so-called active adult housing developments, also known as 55-plus. Investment cost ranges from $887,000 to $1.2 million for a 32-unit project.

Epcon has built more than 400 communities and 30,000 homes across 30 states.

One of Epcon's recent builders is "a new type of franchisee for us," a multi-family developer who owns 600 apartment units in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Signing with Epcon was a way to diversify assets, he said. 

One key move for Epcon is a full-time land consultant, added to the corporate team two years ago. "He's got 25 years in the development business," Buckman said. "He's got a tremendous number of relationships in the broker world."

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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