Franchising Today - Summer 2016 - 98
EPCON COMMUNITIES FRANCHISING INC.
www.epconfranchising.com | www.epconcommunities.com / Headquarters: Dublin, Ohio / Employees: 95 full-time employees / Specialty: Homebuilding /
Epcon builds in 18 states and continues
to see demand for senior living projects
throughout the country.
Epcon provides lifestage buyers with a
comfortable lifestyle. BY ALAN DORICH
When their children leave
home, parents might find themselves
looking for a smaller living space. Epcon has provided homebuyers with
those spaces for 30 years, Vice President of Franchising Tim Rini says.
Based in Dublin, Ohio, Epcon builds
homes and neighborhoods that are
popular with homebuyers who are age
55 or older. Founders Ed Bacome and
Phil Fankhauser started the company
in 1986 and built their first condominium community in Columbus, Ohio.
"It was extremely unique," Rini
says, explaining that the development
consisted of ranch condominiums
that were arranged in a pinwheel design that placed a unit in every corner
of the building. "Each unique residence also had its own private entrance, which made it feel more like a
The design became popular in Columbus, and Bacome and Fankhauser
began to license it to other developers. Eventually, the two discovered
that the concept had great appeal with
empty nesters and baby boomers.
In 2007, Epcon diverged from
its previous model with a new design, Rini says. "They introduced
detached condominiums that literally are single-family, freestanding
homes," he says. "There's no shared
wall between them.
"Those freestanding homes have
overtaken what is recognized as a typical Epcon home and our product has
evolved," he says, noting that it developed the product through market
research. "[We used] a very specific
survey of 55-plus buyers to make sure
the program that was given to the architect was spot on with the customers we were going after."
Today, as Epcon celebrates its 30th
anniversary, the company builds in 18
states and continues to see demand for
senior living projects. "There's a huge
need for 55-plus housing everywhere in
the country, now with the baby boomer silver tsunami coming through the
American demographics," he says.
Epcon expects to close more than
1,400 homes this year, Rini adds.
Builder magazine also recently named
it the 40th largest homebuilder in the
United States. "That's a significant
achievement for any builder," he says.
But what has made it more satisfying is that Epcon has reached
that milestone while specializing in
two-bedroom ranch condominiums
and freestanding homes, Rini says.
"It's amazing and commendable that
we are as large and as successful as
we are," he states. "[We] have been in
this same market niche for 30 years."
Epcon's potential customer base
grows on a daily basis, Rini says. "Every day in the United States, 10,000
people turn 65," he says, noting that
these consumers are looking for new
homes where they can age in place and
enjoy life to the fullest.
"There's a lot of pent-up demand
within our typical buyer segment," he
says. "For everyone living in an Epcon
community, the main thing we offer
Epcon helps deliver that lifestyle by
providing landscaping, snow removal