May 2011

A House is not a Home without a Family. Builder Profile: Village Park Homes CEO, John Cardamone

Author: Leslie P. Ehlers | Photographer: Photography by Anne

For over 20 years, his name has been synonymous with quality residential construction and design integrity. As founder and CEO of Village Park Homes, John Cardamone leads a development team responsible for designing and building some of the area’s most admired and successful communities, blending the beauty of nature and high-quality craftsmanship with traditional neighborhood values. While many builders have come and gone, Cardamone has firmly established himself as one of the Lowcountry’s most trusted builders.

In 1983, a new business opportunity brought Cardamone to the Lowcountry. After a week of meetings with men in shorts and golf shirts and trading the conference room for a fishing boat, the young professional in his business suit was officially a convert. Soon thereafter, he started his career with Alcoa Properties and permanently relocated to the South Carolina Lowcountry, taking a management position in the development of Dataw Island. An avid water enthusiast, Cardamone had found a home where he could nurture his love of fishing and boating. Cardamone has lived all over the United States, but when he came to the Lowcountry he said, “I just knew that I had found a great place to live and raise a family.”

Almost 28 years later, he has had a tremendous impact on Bluffton’s burgeoning growth. Following Dataw Island, Cardamone and two partners purchased 600 acres in Bluffton and developed Colleton River Plantation, a 395-home site community featuring the development’s signature Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course. In 1993, Golf Digest named Colleton River Plantation the “best new private golf course community” in the U.S.

Subsequent to Colleton River, Cardamone and a partner purchased 1,020 acres of marsh-front property which they developed as Belfair Plantation. Belfair includes two Tom Fazio Golf courses, a 25,000-square-foot clubhouse, 680 homesites and extensive world-class amenities.

While developing Belfair Plantation, Cardamone recognized an unfulfilled housing market in Beaufort County. His goal was to build affordable, high-quality homes within land plans that had the aesthetic appeal of upper-end residential neighborhoods such as Colleton River and Belfair. Cardamone founded CraftBuilt Homes specifically to meet this market need.

CraftBuilt developed 620 acres of mixed-use land and sold over 800 homes in 9 communities. CraftBuilt Homes was the recipient of numerous industry awards and was so successful that its homebuilding operations sold to a national homebuilder in 2006.

The 3 BR / 3.5 BA Helena model at Lawton Station starts at $294,000 and includes a 665 sq. ft. screened in porch and 445 sq. ft. finished flex space.

Concurrent with the sale of CraftBuilt Homes, Cardamone formed Village Park Communities, which is continuing with the tradition of building affordable homes in attractive communities that appeal to a wide range of lifestyles. With the changing tone of the times, it is refreshing to find someone devoted to old-fashioned quality and concern for the customer. “I believe in taking great care of our customers by building a superior home and providing excellent warranty service,” Cardamone said.

He also realizes that pleasing the homeowner is about much more than building a comfortable home. An essential element of his success lies in his attention to detail during the development process. “Every mailbox, street lamp and flower bed is given careful consideration to contribute to an overall design aesthetic for each of our communities,” he said. It is this attention to detail that serves to distinguish his neighborhoods from other builder communities. Beautiful parks, sidewalks and designated playgrounds are additional features of Village Park Homes’ communities. Clubhouses are designed to complement the design of the communities and include workout facilities, meeting spaces and large, inviting resort-style swimming pools.

“We looked at a lot of the other communities in Bluffton, and when we drove through Lawton Station, we knew we were ready to buy, said the McKinleys, who live in Lawton Station. “We love the layout of the community; the houses aren’t on top of one another. The neighborhood is absolutely great.”

Over the years, Cardamone has assembled a team of highly skilled employees and subcontractors and utilizes innovative techniques that streamline the building process. Village Park Homes works to deliver an exceptional home at the best possible price, whether it is a first home, a retirement home or a home in which to raise a family. Cardamone aims to make sure each home his company builds makes a lasting impression. It is his philosophy that, as the literal backdrop for your life, your home is more than just an investment in real estate, but rather an investment in memories that will last a lifetime.

Cardamone’s many current and former employees are a testament to his strength of character. His loyalty and passion for his company is demonstrated through his commitment to creating healthy, positive working environments where success is a direct result of the synergy that comes from a shared loyalty and a common goal—to deliver the best-built homes. Perhaps the most impressive demonstration of this loyalty is the fact that many of his employees through the years have purchased personal residences in one of his communities.

“When I bought my home in 2006 there were plenty of new home communities to choose from. I chose to build with John’s company because I knew I was getting top quality for my money,” said one former employee. “It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I couldn’t be happier with my home.”

The popular Rockford home design starts at just $210,900 and features an impressive master suite and formal dining room.

With thousands of satisfied homeowners through the years, it’s no surprise that Cardamone sticks with it through a challenging market. His optimism is contagious, and his passion for delivering quality, affordable homes for hard-working families is evident. He has purchased, planned, engineered and permitted 14 communities with a total of 6,000 homesites, including extensive multi-family and commercial areas within these neighborhoods.

Village Park Homes is currently developing two Bluffton communities and offering single-family homes from the $150s to the $300s. Alston Park at New Riverside and Lawton Station offer a variety of floor plans and an impressive array of options that meet the needs of a wide range of home buyers, whether in search of an affordable home with basic features or an upgraded home with amenities. “When I originally came down here, my Realtor showed me around 40 houses including some short sales,” said Alston Park resident Randy Buttero. “I was curious to see how a new home in Alston Park would compare. I knew what I wanted and within two hours I had picked out the house. Everyone was very helpful, and the sales staff was great. Buying this house was the smartest thing I ever did.”

Whether you are in search of your new home or your next home, John Cardamone has developed a reputation for providing the highest quality homes at the most competitive prices. It is his sincere belief that every home—from affordable to extravagant—should be built with the same attention to detail and commitment to quality. When asked about his formula for success in development and homebuilding, he said, “Folks will always know when you are taking good care of them. They will tell their friends and families, and they will reward you with their business support. I believe that a satisfied customer is our company’s most precious legacy.”

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