By Mark Ambrogi
Terry Blake knew it was time to get back into the housing business.
Blake had been working for Custom Concrete Construction for more than 10 years. But decided to leave that housing industry during the economic downturn in 2009.
“I wanted a career change and getting complete away from construction at that time,” Blake said. “I see the time changing back and construction is something that I have always loved. This gives me the opportunity to get back in with both feet.”
Blake, a long-time Carmel resident, has started an Alair Homes franchise for custom homes with operational area in Carmel and southern Hamilton Co.. Blake and Brian Knoderer, a Fishers resident, are co-owners of the operational state development agreement with Alair Homes.
Alair Homes were founded in 2006 with 67 outlets in operation. There are many locations in Canada and some in Phoenix area and one in Ohio, the Cleveland area. Blake is managing partner of the construction unit
“Brian’s aspect will be working with development of other contractors that will come into the business,” Blake said. “I will be doing most of the training and oversight.”
“What got my attention on Alair was the fact when I was building homes back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the industry was behind the times on technology,” Blake said. “Everyone I was just getting use to computer. The technology had gone way ahead ofwhat the business operations of most builders were. When I first became aware of Alair the first thing that really, really got my attention was their program of taking a client through the actual steps of the business process. They have complete oversight over the entire project. They see every single expense that I see. It’s opens up a lot more clarity over what most builders are going to do. We go through an very in-depth design and estimate process.”
Blake will introduce Alair Homes at the Indianapolis Home Show at the Indiana State Fairgrounds on Jan. 22-31.
Blake, 62, moved with parents to Carmel in 1964, graduating from Carmel High School in 1972. He then graduated from Indiana University’s School of Business.
“One of the main reasons I came back here was to put my kids through the Carmel schools,” Blake said. “All three of my kids graduated from Carmel and two of them went on to IU and graduated from there.”
After college, Blake worked for Heartland Industries and was in charge of developing of their building program in the Louisville area.
“I operated long enough that they decided to go back to what their baseline business was and allowed me to take over the building business on my wn,” Blake said. “I was down there for five years or so before I went back to work for (Heartland). I was two-time president of Homebuilders Association of Southern Indiana and was named Builder of the Year twice.”
During the downturn, Blake switched gears and bought his first CPR Cell Phone Repair franchise about five years, starting with one in Merchants Square in Carmel. He owns two others and is co-owner in a fourth store. His son Chris is general manager in CPR and will be taking on more direct management duties as Blake concentrates on Alair Homes.
“I’ve been working on making contacts with all the people I had association with in the building industry in the north Indianapolis area,” Blake said. “I’ve been around here long enough that I have a whole bunch of contacts. We’re getting up and moving forward as quickly as we possibly can.”