5 Questions with homebuilder Donald Bowles

April 13, 2014 

Special to the Ledger-EnquirerDon Bowles competes in triathlons, runs marathons and avidly supports the Columbus Cottonmouths.

How does a good Canadian boy end up in Columbus?

What an incredible journey! I worked for a pizza delivery franchisor in Orlando, who in the mid 1980s purchased several stores in Columbus and Auburn. I jumped at the opportunity to manage these stores. The franchises were eventually sold but I chose to stay in Columbus because I liked the size of city. I call Columbus a big, little city where you can come to know many people. I now call Columbus home. My beautiful and supportive wife, Clare, is a Columbus native.

You are an avid runner, cyclist and swimmer. How did you develop this keen interest in fitness?

I think we take our

health for granted. An active lifestyle keeps one feeling young. I've always been moderately active, but when I was 49 years old, I signed up for a marathon. It was the most challenging experience of my life but I loved it. Since then, I've competed in a half Ironman triathlon and three local Chattahoochee Challenge triathlons. The more active I become, the more energy I seem to have. That leads to more happiness in my life and a more productive career. I will be running the Toronto Marathon on May 4.

As a builder, what trends are you seeing in the local market right now?

The housing market is well beyond the turmoil of the housing bubble. Columbus housing prices are always slightly behind first-tier markets like Atlanta. The Atlanta and Florida beach community housing markets are very active again and prices are surging. With single-family inventory shrinking locally, home prices are increasing. I see the trend of home values increasing and inventory reductions over the next several years. The city must sunset the property tax freeze to encourage more growth.

You are a big Columbus Cottonmouths fan. Are you surprised by the strong following the team has here?

I couldn't believe the article in the Ledger-Enquirer during mid 1990s with Charlie Morrow saying, "Ice Hockey is coming to Columbus." What a great source of family entreatment that a family can still afford. The Cottonmouths team is a class act off the ice and are very involved within the community. For example, my daughter, Carly, was in the intensive care unit at the Midtown Medical Center at Christmas when she was 2. The team was there visiting and certainly brought a smile to her face. Go Snakes!

What is the best kept secret in the Chattahoochee Valley?

Standing Boy Wildlife Management Area, located off Old River Road. I'm not a hunter but it's a stunning natural area for off-leash dog walking and trail running.

Vital stats

Donald A. Bowles

Age: 52

Job: Homebuilder, Owner of Donald Bowles Inc, Builder

Hometown: Toronto

Current home: Midland

Family: Wife, Clare. Children: Jared, 22, and Carly, 19. Step-children: Will and Caroline, 13, and Walker, 12.

Education: Winston Churchill Collegiate Institute, Scarborough, Ontario, 1980. We had 13 grades back then.

Favorite book: "A Walk in the Woods"

Favorite movie: "Forrest Gump"

Best Television show: "Shark Tank" and "The Profit"

Favorite restaurant: Downstairs at the Loft

Favorite quote: "If you are asked to perform a task, do it right or don't do it at all." -- John Bowles

Best concert attended: Zack Brown a Kenny Chesney at Georgia Dome 2013. And I'm not a big fan of country music.

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