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North Texas Home Building Boom Revives Struggling Business

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - An increase in demand in new home construction has revived a shuttered North Texas business.

The Acme Brick plant west of Weatherford is back in business after closing its doors in 2009, when the recession due to a decline in new home construction.

At its peak, the plant was providing bricks for 45,000 to 55,000 homes a year.

After the housing bubble burst, the plant was forced to stop production and close its doors in 2009.

During the next 3 years, the plant sold of more than 23 million bricks it had in inventory.

“We always knew that we’d be restarting this plant just as soon as the market recovered,” said Dennis Kanautz, President and C.E.O of Acme Brick Company.

The plant re-opened 3 weeks ago and today, shipped out its first truckload to North Texas home builders.

New homes are in high demand, according to John Samson, Executive Vice President of the Greater Fort Worth Builders Association .

“We’re in a 19 month recovery process in single family residential housing and new construction,” he said. “And the builders that were able to sustain businesses are doing very well right now.”

Samson said right now is the time to buy a home as interest rates are historically low.

But there are still some problems lingering from the recession including a lack of available lots, which for home buyers means being closer to neighbors because builders are building on smaller lots.

And an increased demand means home prices have increased.

“We are still struggling with the appraisal process. We routinely hear our builder community complain about the appraisals, the evaluations, the fairness of them,” said Samson.

Home builders, and the Acme Brick plant expect more growth in the 5 next years.

“We are going to continue to bring businesses out here, which will bring home ownership as well,” Samson said.

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