Many years ago, in the days when he wore a suit and tie and was getting a little tired of it, Tux Tuxhorn jumped into a muddy ditch on his job site to help with a plumbing connection. Jim Kempers, who was on site for LeDuc & Dexter saw Tux, knee deep in mud, smiling. Kempers shouted down to him, “What are you smiling about?” “I’m having fun!” shot back Tux. “You must be really tired of your real job,” returned Kempers.
It was true. After many years of developing housing in Sonoma County, much of it in the very successful partnership of Benjamin-Tuxhorn, the constant cutting through of administrative red tape had worn down the enthusiasm for Tux. “I really enjoy the whole building process, from the land acquisition and the building partnerships to the finished homes, but it took 9 years to break ground at Bellevue Ranch. I’ve got 14 years of scars from that one.” Tuxhorn is still working on the Bellevue Ranch project of 500 homes in southwest Santa Rosa with 50 homes yet to build.
In 1997, a year that Tuxhorn recalls as “not that great for building” he decided to scale down. One partner, Bill Benjamin went on to form Rivendale Homes, Rick Waite, his other partner, went into consulting and building spec homes, Tux and his wife, Beth, started the Tuxhorn Company. “Building gets in your blood… it’s always been fun and now after 25 years of it I’m building small subdivisions,” reflects Tux. The Tuxhorn Company is thriving on smaller projects. “We went back to the dependable subs I had worked with before and LeDuc & Dexter is working with us. Jim Kempers takes very good care of us.”
LeDuc & Dexter is working with The Tuxhorn Company on the Blue Oak project, an eight-home cul de sac setting off Starr Road in Windsor. The Blue Oak homes are priced in the mid-$500,000 range.
The Tuxhorn Company built a bigger project in Petaluma, a joint venture with Ryder Homes, totaling 32 lots, 10 units per acre, and last year built 6 units in the Brush Creek area.
Tux Tuxhorn also has a new passion, aside from the golf outings and trips he enjoys with his wife, he is pursuing a Master’s Degree from Sonoma State University to become an educator in the new Entrepreneurial Studies Program at S.S.U. Tux is on the advisory committee and has enjoyed the eye-opening academic experience, “Sonoma State is modeling their program after the Price-Babson Entrepreneurial School at Berkeley and the Haas Business School has assembled a team of educators from around the world, specializing in this field of study. We are all working together and it looks like we will be able to put together a great program here at Sonoma State.”