In this episode:
- Housing affordability for working class people in West Michigan
- Zoning and overregulation causing home prices to go up
- Narrowing the skills gap
- Encouraging students to consider a career in the trades
John Bitely, a fourth-generation Algoma Township/Kent County resident, founded Sable Developing Inc. in 1996. At that time, the company’s focus was on residential development. The company has since evolved into Sable Homes and Sable Realty as a way to provide land development, home construction and sales.
Bitely’s goal has always been to build value into homes, allowing families to buy a high-quality home that is affordable to purchase and operate. With that goal in mind, Sable Homes builds larger, high-quality homes with amenities and energy efficiencies at a lower price point than its competitors.
Bitely, who has more than 30 years of experience in home building and residential development, is a board member of the Home Builders Foundation and serves on multiple Home Builders Association of Greater Grand Rapids committees. He has also served on the organization’s board of directors. Previously, Bitely served as board president of Urban Family Ministries in Grand Rapids, a Christian-based organization committed to helping inner-city youth, young adults and parents.
With his wife of 33 years, Annette, the couple has five children: two boys and three girls. A graduate of Sparta High School, Bitely enjoys fishing, hunting, tending to his vegetable garden and farming.