One of Austin’s most prominent builders, Nash Phillips, passed away on Monday. Phillips, with partner Clyde Copus, was a key player in the homebuilding industry throughout Texas for many years. According to a release from the Austin American-Statesman, “Nash Phillips/Copus Builders Inc., founded in 1945, was once among the nation’s biggest private home builders. At its peak in 1984, it had operations in Austin, Dallas, San Antonio Houston, and Phoenix.” See the complete Statesman article by clicking here.
The Home Builders Association of Greater Austin will be holding a memorial service for Nash Phillips at their office on Monday, February 14 at 2:00. More details will be forthcoming from the HBA. To understand the influence Nash Phillips had on the building community in Austin, you need look no further than the HBA’s Phillips Event Center, which is named in his honor.
Nash left his mark across central Texas, including many neighborhoods here in Austin. He served as mentor and inspiration to dozens of builders and developers over the years. Professional Builder Magazine named Nash Phillips/Copus Inc. (NPC) as their Builder of the Year for 1984. This award is regarded as one of the highest achievements possible in the building industry and Phillips was always very proud of this accomplishment.
Nash Phillips and Clyde Copus were so renowned and respected in Austin that in 2004 a group of former associates, partners, employees and friends created an endowed scholarship in their names for the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas. According to Texas: The McCombs School of Business Magazine,
“The two realtors founded Nash Phillips/Copus Builders, Inc. (later known as NPC) in 1945 when they saw returning WWII veterans drive a huge demand for housing. Over the course of their partnership, they built thousands of homes and had remarkable influence within the industry. Described as ‘an incubator for the real estate industry,’ NPC inspired a host of younger professionals with its innovative ideas and remarkable success.”
To see the complete article, please click here.
NPC was at one time the largest privately owned homebuilder in the United States. They controlled more than 65% of all single-family homes built in the Austin area and over 80% of all multi-family construction (aparments, condos, etc). They oversaw more of the market by themselves than the top 10 builders in Austin do now. Combined.
NPC eventually ran into financial difficulties, but that didn’t stop Nash Phillips from building homes. Later in his life, he founded Wilshire Homes with his son-in-law Ed Horne, and together they continued the legacy of building and mentoring. Wilshire Homes continues to build homes in the Austin area.
Our own Mark Sprague, Director of Business Development, was a graduate of NPC and attibutes much of his understanding of the industry, the people, and the process of building and development to his time with them. He always speaks highly of the manner in which they taught him and molded him to be a better businessman and a better person. In his words, “You will not find anyone in the city, state, or region that will say anything bad about Nash Phillips or Clyde Copus.”
Mission Mortgage tips our hat to Nash Phillips and the imprint he made on our community and the people who live here. His influence will not end with his passing. Rest in Peace, Nash Phillips. You’ve earned it.