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Martha Stewart Teaming Up With KB Home to Build Line of Houses

October 13, 2005|From Associated Press

Fans of Martha Stewart who snapped up her towels and sheets will soon be able to live in a house designed by the lifestyle entrepreneur.

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. and Los Angeles-based KB Home, one of the nation's largest home builders, announced Wednesday that they were teaming up to build a line of houses that were inspired by Stewart's three homes in New York and Maine.

The first jointly designed community -- to be named KB Home Twin Lakes: Homes Created with Martha Stewart -- will feature about 650 homes in Cary, N.C., an up-and-coming suburb of Raleigh, the companies said. Model homes, which will come in eight variations, are scheduled to be completed in early 2006.

Bruce Karatz, KB Home's chairman and chief executive, said his company and Stewart also planned to build similar developments in Houston and Atlanta.

The deal, whose financial terms were not disclosed, allows Stewart and KB to expand into new areas.

"This will not only extend our brand but broaden our scope," said Stewart in a phone interview with Associated Press.

She added, "My homes are wonderfully constructed, beautifully designed and useful for the modern-day homeowner."

Stewart is also aiming to use the partnership to further market her collection of home furnishings and other products. The model homes will be furnished with her furniture collection and other products, and customers will be able to buy flooring, faucets, light fixtures, cabinetry and countertops.

For KB, the deal allows the home builder to expand into the higher-end market. The average size for a typical KB home is about 2,000 square feet, Karatz said. In comparison, the Stewart-inspired dwellings will range from 1,500 square feet to 4,100 square feet and will be priced from the low-$200,000s to the mid-$400,000s. KB builds homes that carry an average selling price of $280,000, Karatz said.

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