When the West Bend Property Company development team envisioned NorthWest Crossing back in the late 90s, in their minds’ eyes they saw tree-lined streets, diverse architectural styled homes and large, welcoming front porches. Twenty years later, it’s easy to see that vision became a reality—not by chance, but through thoughtful and strategic decisions made by the team. One of those decisions has been central to the success and visual appeal of the neighborhood—the establishment of a Builders’ Guild.

Although nameless in its infancy, the NorthWest Crossing Builders’ Guild consisted of two dozen home builders, many of whom already had relationships with the developers, through previous projects. Not wanting a production-built neighborhood with model homes, set floorplans, and a homogeneous architecture, the team carefully selected and invited a diverse set of quality craftsmen to be a part of something new and unique to Bend at the time. It was a leap of faith on both sides, but one that proved to be very successful.

To better control the look and feel of the neighborhood, West Bend Property Company chose to sell homesites directly to builders, instead of to the general public. This was facilitated through a lottery process. Using a process similar to an NFL draft, the team felt this was the most equitable and efficient way to offer lots to the builders.

Over the life of the project, there have been 45 guild members, including 9 who were original members that are still building in NorthWest Crossing today. There have been 22 lotteries, where builders have enjoyed breakfast and a little friendly competition.

NWX Builders Guild contribute $25,000 to Bethlehem Inn in honor of the West Bend Property Company board

Looking back, there was a lot of cooperation, respect and admiration among the Guild that created a positive experience for those who participated. They got together to build garden boxes for the neighborhood community garden, raised money for charitable campaigns and collectively helped support neighborhood events through sponsorship.

“Being a Guild Builder in NWX was a great experience. We all worked to provide the neighborhood with beautiful, well-crafted homes for families to enjoy for years to come,” says Greg Welch, a member of the Guild since its inception. “I’m proud of what we’ve collectively accomplished.”

About the Author:

David Ford, Vice President of Real Estate Development

David is the Vice President of Real Estate Development for Brooks Resources Corporation. For the previous 15+ years, David served as the General Manager of West Bend Property Company (a joint partnership between Brooks Resources and Tennant Limited Family Partnership). West Bend Property Company is the developer of NorthWest Crossing, an award-winning mixed-use community located on Bend’s west side.  Prior to West Bend Property Company, David worked for Heery International, an architectural services and construction program management consulting firm, managing capital improvement programs for Bend–La Pine, Crook County and Culver School Districts. With broad-based experience in real estate and construction management, he has successfully completed over $325 million of public and private construction programs in Oregon and Alaska. Ford completed his undergraduate degree at the University of California, Davis and has a MBA degree from the University of Denver’s School of Business and Public Management. David has served on the COCC Board of Directors and is currently serving as an Advocacy and Advisory Board member for OSU-Cascades. David and his wife, Kitri, have lived in Central Oregon since 1991 and are the proud parents of Harper, their chocolate Labrador retriever.

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