Celebrating 50 Years
Jan 27, 2016
For the past 50 years, Hogan Homes has maintained a commitment to investing in their people and building quality homes that hold their value for years to come.
As his SUV slowly comes to rest in the thick sand at the entrance to Hogan Home’s newest community, Wandering Oaks, Al Hogan steps out and gazes down the long winding dirt road encompassed by tangled trees.
Al Hogan 1989, photo courtesy of the Corpus Christi Caller Times
Without a single roof in sight, he oddly seems at home. Hogan is led by his vision and foresight. It’s what brought him to Corpus Christi from founding the business in Victoria. It’s been Hogan’s commitment to his employees and building a sustainable company that laid the foundation for a half-century of excellence. It’s a quality that goes deeper than the walls themselves.
Built to Last
In 1966, Hogan moved to Victoria, TX with his wife in hopes of launching a ranching career. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out and he found himself searching for something new. While all of this was happening, their son became terminally ill.
“I was shocked as you can imagine. As a young couple, my father-in-law encouraged us to start a project to get our mind cleared and move ahead, so we decided to build a house,” said Hogan.
When the economy took a turn for the worse, their house was only halfway built and he learned that his builder could not make his payroll. Al needed to finish the house. And after paying a visit to the builder, he left with much more than he bargained for.
“In an effort to get the house completed, the builder said that if I would assume his liabilities, he would give me the company. So I got the whole company for assuming his liabilities,” said Hogan. “At the time, it didn’t look like a very good deal. It was a big risk to get my house finished, but it worked.”
In the beginning, Hogan was the only employee. He swept floors, sold houses, supervised carpenters and pretty much did everything. As they began to grow, Hogan was determined not to hire a large staff and be forced to make drastic cuts when business slowed down.
“I wanted a sustainable environment, with a stable rate of growth and be able to keep people for a long period of time,” said Hogan.
Hogan’s commitment to slow growth and maintaining their team through each boom and bust led to a longstanding core management team. Nancy Summers, President & CEO, joined Hogan in 1983 in Victoria as the office manager and became part owner of Hogan Homes in 1999.
Nancy Summers – President & CEO, Al Hogan – Founder & Chairman
“We have been fortunate to have long-term employees that pull together to ultimately get the job done and done well. We all multi-task and wear many hats around here,” said Summers.
Typically, businesses expand to grow. For Hogan Homes, it was more of a defensive maneuver. They owned 40% of the home market share in Victoria, which made them vulnerable to the local economy.
“I looked into Austin, San Antonio, Houston and Corpus Christi and I used a firm, Bill Smolkin, out of New Orleans to do some research in all those markets to layout the opportunities. That list ended up with Corpus Christi being at the bottom,” says Hogan.
Corpus Christi was an easy drive from Victoria, so he decided to do some research of his own. He was intrigued by the potential of the harbor to grow the city. He knew Corpus Christi had a lot of potential.
In 1981, Hogan launched their first two developments, WindBrook and WindSong, on the Southside of Corpus Christi. The economy took a drastic hit shortly after. It was devastating for local homebuilders.
“We cut just about every expense we could possibly cut. I made up my mind to keep at least one house under construction at all times, so that my neighborhoods didn’t ever look stale to the public,” said Hogan. “We counted on the revenue stream in Victoria to account for the losses we experienced in Corpus Christi.”
At the time, the Texas economy was much more dependent on oil and gas than it is today. Corpus Christi’s economic growth over the last decade has been primarily due the influence of the Port of Corpus Christi.
“It’s finally what we saw all along, we were just a little early,” said Hogan with a smile.
Hogan Homes has always had a very targeted approach to building homes that meet their market’s specific needs while developing new communities for the future. Terra Mar is a peaceful, master planned community at Oso Bay on the Southside of Corpus Christi. It is the perfect example of the thought, research and foresight that goes into every development.
“When we purchased the land for the initial phase of Terra Mar we helped facilitate the City’s purchase of 160 acres that has now become the Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve and Learning Center,” said Summers. “Today, Terra Mar is taking off. There are new schools, beautiful parks and nature trails. It’s a peaceful, quiet neighborhood with easy commutes to all parts of town and the island.”
Current new development is focused upstream in the Rockport market. Hogan Homes recently broke ground on their third neighborhood in the Rockport area, Wandering Oaks. “In Rockport, we have really focused on outdoor living. Our customers want to spend more time outside and our climate is ideal for outdoor living areas,” said Angela Long, VP Sales & Marketing for Hogan Homes.
Hogan and Summers are proud of every home the company has built over the years. They are determined to build homes that hold their value for decades.
Hogan Homes has built a young and energetic management team, who are eager to learn and contribute fresh ideas. There is no intimidation factor. Everyone says what he or she thinks and contributes under Nancy Summers’ leadership.
“I think with any small business it starts at the top with Nancy and it filters on down to our newest employees,” said Hogan. “Our company has been blessed with many competent and capable employees and they are what built this company.”
“When you look at the core values that Al embraced for so many years, passed down to Angela and myself and what I’ve learned watching my mother, this is exactly the legacy we want to continue,” said Trey Summers, VP Project Development and son of Nancy Summers. “So, that in another 50 years, we can be sitting here celebrating our 100th anniversary.”
Featured in the March 2016 issue of The Bend Magazine.