TAVO Development

TAVO DevelopmentTAVO Development’s founder draws on his lifelong love of homebuilding in Westchester County, New York.

By Chris Petersen

TAVO Development President Steve Tavolacci has had a lifelong love affair with building homes, and the fourth-generation homebuilder says there’s nothing in the world he would rather be doing. From his days growing up surrounded by the craft to his first job sweeping floors on his father’s projects, Tavolacci says he’s never once considered doing anything else. “As a young kid, I knew this was always what I wanted to do,” he says. “I knew I had a passion for building and gave it all I had.”

TAVO Development’s clients have been the beneficiaries of that passion for more than 18 years now, as the company has built up a strong portfolio of luxury homes in Westchester County, New York. Tavolacci says the company’s reputation as one of the region’s most successful developers and homebuilders has come as a result of the company’s hard work, dedication and adherence to a strict but simple code of ethics.

The company concentrates on building spec homes in Westchester and Fairfield counties in New York, and its primary client base consists of families upgrading from their starter homes, according to Tavolacci. No matter what the finished product turns out to be, he says, every TAVO Development home is built on the idea that it must be someplace where he would want his family to live. Thanks to that philosophy, TAVO Development has built homes that it and its clients can be proud of.

Knowledgeable Approach

Although TAVO Development builds its homes on spec, they can stand toe-to-toe with any custom-built home, according to Tavolacci. He says his passion for homebuilding means the company can build a home that features all of the best amenities and materials as well as a design that meets the market’s exact needs. Tavolacci says the care and attention to detail that goes into each one of the company’s homes makes them stand out from the offerings of other builders in the region. TAVO Development box

“We don’t have a buyer yet, but the amenities I put into all of my houses, demonstrate more of a higher-end finish even though it’s not a custom build,” Tavolacci says. “I do more of an upscale build, so all of my houses are very thought-out vs. somebody else that just kind of puts something together.”

Tavolacci has been building in the upstate New York region his entire life, and he says that intimate knowledge of the market means he has a much greater understanding of the wants and needs of his target clientele than other builders might have. “I’ve been doing this for so long that I know what people want in their houses,” he says.

Among the most common features you’ll find in a TAVO Development home today is an open floor plan, with very few rooms closed in completely. Tavolacci says this environment extends all the way into storage areas like closets. “Everything today has the open feel,” he says. “We do a lot of clean lines, and there are no more big moldings or heavy moldings. We have been focusing on master closets with sitting areas and master bathrooms with his-and-hers toilet rooms.”

In addition to large-scale open-plan kitchens that include a dining area, many of the homes being built by TAVO Development today feature outdoor living spaces. Tavolacci says outdoor living rooms and kitchens have become as important to homebuyers today as finished basements. “Outdoor living is really an extension of a beautiful home, adding more living space while enjoying it outdoors,” Tavolacci says.

Strong Relationships

Just as important as the elements or designs that go into building a house are the relationships that get them built, and Tavolacci says TAVO Development values the strong relationships it has with it loyal core of local subcontractors. Many of the subcontractors the company works with have worked with it for at least 10 years, and there is very little turnover in its subcontractor base.

Tavolacci says this is because TAVO Development works with honesty and transparency, and all decisions are made with the best interests of everyone involved in mind. “My biggest quality is honesty, that’s what I look for in a person’s character,” he says. “They stay with me because we work well together as a team and we have the same philosophy, which is to put the best product out there for the buyer.”

Red Tape

Although TAVO Development continues to find success building throughout Westchester County, Tavolacci says the company has seen activity slow down in recent years not because of the market conditions, but because of bureaucracy. “The biggest challenge right now is getting the permits from the local municipalities in a timely fashion,” he says.

The process of having a project permitted has become much more arduous than it was when TAVO Development went into business, according to Tavolacci, often extending long past the amount of time it used to take. “The process has become a lot harder to achieve than when I first started,” he says.

Even though the extended permitting process has not changed the way TAVO Development approaches its work, it has had an impact in terms of scheduling that has caused delays in certain projects. “If we’re trying to beat the weather to start a particular project, sometimes we can’t because the permitting is very time-consuming,” Tavolacci says.

Focused on the Future

Tavolacci says the future looks very promising for TAVO Development, as the company has just recently purchased 10 acres where it has begun building its first of three new homes in Chappaqua, N.Y. Additionally, the company is in the planning stages of building its first mixed-use project, which will feature commercial space on the ground floor and luxury apartments on the second and third floors.

By remaining true to its values and continuing to focus on delivering high-quality homes to clients in Westchester County, TAVO Development aims to keep right on succeeding. “We’re just going to continue to build the best homes possible,” Tavolacci says. TAVO Developm

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