NAMES TOLL A BARON OF THE HOUSING INDUSTRY AND TOP CEO
BY LARRY TEITELBAUM
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started the company in 1967, is now the nation’s largest builder
of luxury homes, with stakes in twenty states. He likes nothing more than
to build 3,000 to 4,000 square foot castles with custom kitchens, marble
foyers, vaulted ceilings, spacious master suites, and pools on wooded
lots and in gated communities that go for half a million and up. He is
also building urban high rise towers on the Hudson River; luxury condos
in downtown Philadelphia; 3,000 home country club communities with Arnold
Palmer Championship golf courses and active-adult lifestyle communities
for affluent retirees and pre-retirees.
At 64, Toll remains in control of the company he built. These days, however,
he often conducts business far from his Horsham, Pennsylvania headquarters
— which leaves ample time for other pursuits, such as checking up
on the conflict resolution camp, “Seeds of Peace,” he purchased
for children from other cultures. On this day he spoke to us from his
lakeside getaway in Maine, down the road from the camp.
Q: What’s it like to be considered one
of the top CEOs in the world?
A: Everybody was pumped
in the office. It’s mostly a reflection on them and not on me. (However),
it’s nice to be recognized. Like Rodney Dangerfield, as an industry
home building companies don’t get a lot of respect from the financial
markets. Traditionally, homebuilding companies sell at 1/2 to 1/3 of what
the multiple should be.