Legend Homes Corp., a once-prominent Oregon homebuilder, recently marked the end of a nearly six-decade-long journey by putting the finishing touches on its final neighborhood in Corvallis in May. The company, which at its peak was building around 400 homes a year, has now scaled down to around 25 homes annually, according to a recent report from the Portland Business Journal.
Legend Homes Corp.’s journey began in 1965 when it was founded as Century21. Over the years, the company built more than 10,000 homes and became a well-recognized name in the Oregon housing market, its website states.
In 2002, the company entered the Corvallis market, where it would ultimately find its last stronghold. Despite enduring the ups and downs of the housing industry, Legend continued to sell its projects, thanks in part to the loyalty of the contractors it had supported during difficult times.
The Great Recession of 2008, however, forced Legend Homes Corp. into Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, the company emerging in 2010 under a reorganization plan that saw founder Dave Oringdulf and his daughter give up their company ownership. New shares were issued to executives, including Jim Chapman, who had joined the company in the 1990s.
Despite the setbacks, Legend’s commitment to Corvallis remained. In 2011, it had 17 staffers and 49 homes for sale. The company continued to focus on its Russell Gardens development, a project it had started a few years prior. The report states that this last endeavor would signify the company’s final chapter in the world of homebuilding.
As the company downsized to match its slowing pace, going from 68 staff members to effectively zero, Jim Chapman announced his retirement. Attempting to sell the company yielded no results, as the homebuilder lacked a large land inventory. The decision was made to build out the company’s remaining supply, officially bringing Legend’s homebuilding legacy to an end.
The Legend Homes Corp. will maintain its state licensure to honor warranty claims for its homes, which come with 10-year warranties. The report adds that Chapman’s announcement about Legend Homes Corp.’s closure was met with a minimal amount of warranty claims. Chapman’s personal involvement in inspections and follow-ups has allowed him to engage with homeowners directly, maintaining the company’s commitment to its customers.