In the early forties, Floyd County native Byron (BL) Radford built his first house for his family in Bishop, West Virginia. The house was a modest 4 bedroom upstairs and the Master downstairs with no bathroom. The bathroom was later added as an extension off the kitchen. This experience was the spark for a new career away from the coal mines of West Va.
Upon hearing about the death of their oldest son Waverly, on the island of Guam during WWII, the family moved to Roanoke, Virginia in 1944. Still interested in the housing industry, BL applied his skill at building windows for Huttig Sash & Door. In 1946, he ventured out into the contract labor for house construction then later started building individual custom homes for customers in 1947.
One of his first subdivisions in Roanoke City, called Blue Hills Addition, provided starter homes in the $7500 to $9500 range. At that time, written contracts and real estate closings were just arriving in Southwest Virginia. When GE opened a Salem plant in 1954, BL partnered with John Slovensky to create and develop a 100-lot subdivision called Green Valley located off Colonial Ave to help meet the housing demand.
As the postwar years saw a housing boom, BL looked for other ways to diversify the housing business and entered the motel and apartment rental market. By this time, his son, Frank entered the family business and helped launch Cherry Hill subdivision.