Bohannon Development

Puerta Villa at Pellicano El Paso TXBohannon Development Corp. has a reputation for building developments that are just right for their residents.

By Chris Petersen

Tom Bohannon was a young partner with a Florida-based real estate developer who was tasked with moving the firm into new territories. When he first set foot in El Paso, Texas, in 1977, he soon came to realize what a special opportunity the city and surrounding area represented to a young and ambitious person like himself. The relatively inexpensive property in the area and the enormous growth potential appeared to be the right mix for someone looking to go into business for himself, and that’s exactly what Bohannon did with the creation of Bohannon Development Corp. in 1980.

“It was a city that was  less intimidating than most for a young guy without a lot of capital to build a company,” Bohannon says. “It wasn’t a market that had a lot of institutional buyers or real estate investment trusts competing for all the land, and I was very fortunate to have Mickey Schwartz, a partner in El Paso’s largest land developer, take an interest in my future and provide great advice and encouragement. Over time we have made many great friends and business contacts here.”Bohannon Development box

Through Bohannon’s foresight and business savvy, Bohannon Development has grown into one of the most successful developers in the El Paso area. Today, Bohannon Development is a vertically integrated firm that combines development, general contracting and property management under one roof to develop, build and manage some of the most desirable residential properties in El Paso and throughout the West.

Across its portfolio, whether the company owns the property or builds for others, the hallmarks of Bohannon Development have been experience, quality and understanding residents’ needs. As the company looks forward to continuing its growth trajectory into the future, Bohannon says it expects the strengths that have brought it to its current level of success will continues to serve as the foundation for its future.

Strong Core

One of the biggest advantages Bohannon Development has in the marketplace is its vertical integration, Bohannon says. With development, construction and management capabilities under the same roof, the company has the ability to see a project through all the way from concept to occupation, and its thorough understanding of residents’ needs and desires means its projects are built from the ground up with them in mind.

Bohannon believes the company’s continued success is dependent on making sure it always strives to serve the interests of its residents and its investors. “It is our constant goal to make every property a good value for both our residents and our investors,” he says.

Bohannon Development’s property management expertise makes it possible for the company not only to find great locations and build a high-quality development, but also provide top-notch service to residents once they move in. “We try to make each project feel like your favorite family restaurant where they know you when you come in,” Bohannon explains.

The company’s vertical integration is crucial to the success of Bohannon Development, but Bohannon notes that it wouldn’t matter how many services the company had if the people in charge of fulfilling those services weren’t the best and most dedicated people in the business. “The greatest strength we have is the easiest question – it’s our people,” he says. “We have a great team of people that have been with me for a long time.”

Bohannon notes his senior executive staff has been with the company an average of 24 years. Two of them were his CPA and his banker of many years before they joined his company. Bohannon Development has a strong foundation of experience and expertise that Bohannon says helps to ensure the high quality of its developments. “It’s people who believe in our mission and our quality,” he says.

The strength and experience of the people within Bohannon Development has resulted in an equally strong internal culture. Although Bohannon says there are at times healthy debates about the best means of providing its services, in the end everyone understands that they need to come together and do what’s right for the development’s investors and residents. “Everybody’s on the same page,” Bohannon says.

Growing Intelligently

Having people who live up to standards as high as Bohannon Development’s is why the company continues to grow, but Bohannon says it doesn’t make that growth easy to manage. “The biggest challenge for a small company like ours where we’ve set the bar so high is how to bring in new people and have them embrace the same corporate mission,” he says. “When you’re a small company, we can be super-selective on sites and locations, but meeting that same standard when you’re growing is a challenge that requires constant focus. We are committed to maintaining that quality result as we grow.”

Bohannon says the company has been playing the long game to alleviate this issue, hiring dedicated, smart people at entry-level positions and training them up in most cases rather than hiring experienced people already set in their ways. Additionally, Bohannon’s two sons Ben and Matt are heavily involved in the company, and he has been focused on mentoring them and training them to one day take the reins.

Bohannon says the focus for the company over the next few years will continue to be on intelligent growth. Bohannon Development’s most recent projects – Aldeia West in Houston and Avalon Westin El Paso – stand as proof that the company’s developments still lead the way in terms of providing the highest combination of quality and value in the marketplace. 

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