Stars 2021: Ashner Construction & Bodine Ashner Builders Legacy

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Premier Home Developer

Story by Ann Butenas     |     Sponsored Content

Premier developers and custom home builders Jeff and Chris Ashner are known for building some of the most inspiring and inventive homes to hit the Kansas City marketplace. These award-winning builders understand that building a home requires significant preparation, and the steps involved are both intricate and intentional. There is no denying it takes confident hands to construct a home; it also takes a uniquely creative mind to bring forth a vision like no other. Building a home that stands apart from the rest requires a bold blend of inventiveness and imagination, partnered with the standard construction skills to pull it all together. While these brothers build homes separately, they often collaborate on developing neighborhoods. 

Beginning with their dad, Leo Ashner, who began work as a Realtor in 1954 and subsequently started a home building business three years later in partnership with Virgil Bodine, Chris and Jeff, who hail from a family of four boys, grew up around the industry and now continue their family’s decades-long legacy of contributing to the housing market in Johnson County as builders and developers. 

“Our dad created the first master-planned community in the Midwest in Lenexa called Four Colonies back in the early 1970s,’ recalled Jeff. “It included winding streets and central amenities. Such a community had never been done before in the Kansas City area. 

The Ashner brothers do not take for granted the deep-rooted history their family has in doing things well, unique, and that stand the test of time.

“We enjoy going back to the communities we have developed to see how the areas have matured,” said Chris. “It’s great to see people enjoying all that we have created and getting huge rewards for the investment they have made in our communities.”

Unique to an Ashner-developed community is their format of integrating all of the amenities into the heart of the neighborhood. They see this as a place for residents to congregate. They don’t just place the amenities on a corner site. Instead, they take a prime, central location. The amenities are built in the beginning of a community, giving homeowners the opportunity to enjoy them. Because of this philosophy, the Ashners have successfully flourished over the years, despite various economic downturns.

“We never let the momentum stop,” expressed Jeff. 

Their newest community to take shape is Wilshire Hills, located at 167th and Hayes in Overland Park, which boasts ample green space, a resort-style pool and even a hammock garden. The Ashners work hard to elevate the overall experience in the community, rather than just offering a collection of houses on a street.

“We like cul-de-sacs and enclaves,” noted Chris, “and Wilshire Hills is its own unique enclave, surrounded by property with mature trees and natural surroundings. It also has a buffer of trees and no major streets or intersections within its borders.”

The entrance is a thousand-foot boulevard that provides a peaceful and tranquil drive as you come home at the end of the day, giving you a chance to decompress and appreciate the tranquility that is to come.

Their dad’s influence continues to find itself within everything Chris and Jeff do today.

“He advised us to surround ourselves with quality people and quality subcontractors who all share the same vision,” said Jeff. “We use quality people in order to obtain a predictable outcome where the teamwork is invaluable.”

“Everyone is a professional but it feels like one big family, a development family,” reflected Chris. “This is how you build a city and prosper in this business. We are fortunate to stay above to position ourselves well.”

With Wilshire Hills ready to make its debut, the Ashners’ plan is to have lots ready for home construction in late Fall of this year.

“This is an amazing effort with a lot of talented people,” noted Chris.


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