"Buyers wanting to upgrade to a new home but who are concerned about the subsequent tax increase should consider renovating existing homes. These buyers can reduce their environmental footprint and gain substantial long-term tax savings. Sarasota is ripe with renovation opportunities.”

-Grant Castilow

3 Area Companies Make Inc. Top 500 List

Herald Tribune August 23, 2011

An Internet phone company and two general contractors from Southwest Florida made it onto the Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing U.S. companies....

...MyGreenBuildings, which was established in 2006 by Steve Ellis and partner Grant Castilow, specializes in designing homes and offices that feature eco-friendly features and reduced maintenance costs.

The company got its start with the first home renovation ever certified as green by the Florida Green Building Coalition, a West-of-the-Trail home on Goldenrod Street completed in 2007.

Since then, the business has achieved a mix of 75 percent residential and 25 percent commercial. Recent work ranges from a vertical beachfront home for the family of Dr. Joyce Brothers to a historical renovation of a carriage house at Bay Preserve at Osprey on behalf of the Gulf Coast Conservation Foundation.

"We want to work with great partners and build incredible architecture," Ellis said. "You can't do that out of the back of a truck.

"If you came into our office, you would see process flow charts. We put processes in place. If you're doing 15 projects in a year, how are you going to get them done on time and do them right? We put processes in place. The little stuff has to be managed so you can make good decisions."

By 2010, the company, with 10 employees, had achieved a three-year revenue growth rate of 1,016 percent, with sales of $4 million.

The 500 companies are chosen from nearly seven million privately held companies in the U.S.

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