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Local builders dominate a robust market for homes

Redevelopment and renovation efforts in downtown Buffalo have largely stolen the limelight in the past couple of years, but there’s also a significant amount of new home building taking place in the area’s suburban communities.

New subdivisions and individual homes are going up throughout the region, from Amherst and Clarence to Hamburg and Orchard Park, as builders seek to meet buyer demands for the latest and greatest residential options.

And while some parts of the country are dominated by larger housing developers, Western New York counts mostly local companies among its builder ranks.

Here’s a look at some of the major players.

Marrano/Marc Equity

Marrano/Marc Equity Corp., a 60-year-old construction company, is the leading locally owned home builder in Western New York, and has been ranked at the top of the local sales charts for 30 years.

The company builds single-family homes, townhomes and patio homes throughout the region, ranging from entry-level to luxury levels, with more than 15,000 homes under its belt. It’s also one of the top 300 home builders nationally.

The West Seneca-based company was founded in 1956 when Pasquale Marrano launched home builder Marrano Enterprises, and took its current form after merging with land developer Marc Equity Corp. It also operates in Boston and Florida.

Its ongoing communities include Pleasant Meadows, Central Square Villas and Summerfield Farms in Lancaster; Princeton Estates in West Seneca; Deer Springs in Hamburg; Hickory Grove Village in Cheektowaga; Evergreen Landing in Amherst; and Greythorne in Williamsville.

Ryan Homes

Ryan Homes, part of Reston, Va.-based NVR Inc., is one of the nation’s largest homebuilders. Founded in 1948 as a small, family-run business in Pittsburgh, it’s now among the top-five builders, operating in 23 metro areas in 14 states and Washington, D.C. The company builds single-family homes, townhomes and condos for first-time through move-up and higher-end buyers, as well as resort homes and “active adult living” communities.

In the Buffalo market, where its local office is in West Seneca, Ryan is currently constructing homes in Summerfield Farms in Lancaster, Vineyard Trail in Orchard Park, Camelot Square in West Seneca, Cross Creek in Lancaster, Willow Woods in Hamburg, Meadows at Pendleton and The Villas at Wheatfield Lakes in Wheatfield.

Essex Homes

Essex Homes of Western New York is a large local home builder that was started in 1992. It is owned and operated by the Nanula family.

The Clarence-based company has built over 1,000 homes throughout the region, ranging from moderately priced to upscale options, with residential communities in Amherst, Aurora, Clarence, Lancaster, Lockport, Orchard Park, Hamburg, Grand Island, Pendleton and Williamsville.

Among its recent projects are Knoche Farm Estates, Ridgewood Estates and The Hills in Orchard Park, with homes ranging up to $1 million in price; the Villas at Brompton and Brompton Heights in Hamburg; Oakwood Estates in Grand Island; and Shadow Woods in Clarence. It’s also building Essex Greens at Waterford, a patio home community off Roll Road in Clarence.


Forbes-Capretto Homes is a 30-year-old custom and high-end home builder that was formed in 2002 from the merger of Capretto Homes and Forbes Homes.

The Cheektowaga-based company has built over 3,000 homes and dozens of neighborhoods, and is currently building in over 16 developments in Erie and Niagara counties, from Riverwalk in Lewiston to Ridgefield Terrace in Hamburg.

Among its ongoing communities are Birdsong Estates in Orchard Park, with prices starting at $500,000; Strickler Estates in Clarence, starting at $600,000; and the Sanctuary in Amherst, where homes begin at $700,000. On the other end of the spectrum, it offers Riverwalk, starting at $290,000, and a handful of projects starting at $300,000, including Armor Meadows in Orchard Park, Ridgefield Terrace in Hamburg, Waterford Heights in Lewiston, and Hidden Meadow and Hidden Pines, both in Lancaster. Work will begin in the spring on Woods Creek on Grand Island.

David Homes

David Homes of Hamburg, which builds one-story villas, patio homes and ranch homes, is working on the Villas at Brierwood in Hamburg, River Oaks Landing on Grand Island, Audubon Landing in Amherst, and Victoria Landing in Lockport.

Alliance Homes

Alliance Homes of Hamburg, founded in 1989, is building in Armor Knoll, Riley Meadows and Birdsong in Orchard Park, Berkley Square and Ridgefield Terrace in Hamburg, Cross Creek Estates in Lancaster and Sonny Brook in Eden.


Family-owned Natale Building Corp. of Clarence specializes in custom-built luxury, patio and ranch homes in communities in Clarence, Williamsville, Amherst, Lancaster and Clarence. The 40-year-old company, which also does commercial construction and development, in particular highlights its focus on EnergyStar and “green design” homes.

Projects include Avalon Meadow in Amherst; Nicholas Heights in Lancaster; Birdsong in Orchard Park; Pleasant Creek in Hamburg; and Waterford Estates, Riviera Green, Spaulding Green and Strickland Estates in Clarence.


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