An out-of-town homebuilder is betting that the Richmond market is ripe for expansion.
Charlotte, N.C.-based Eastwood Homes has bought into three subdivisions across the region and broke ground last week on its first home in the area.
The company plans to build hundreds of homes a year in Richmond. It’s starting out with lots at the Watermark and Magnolia Green developments in Chesterfield and Patriots Landing in New Kent County.
“It’s a very good market that needs another builder,” said Justin Myers, Eastwood’s vice president of operations.
The 36-year-old company has begun construction of a model home in Watermark, a 400-acre development near 288 and Iron Bridge Road. It will begin building at Magnolia Green this month and at Patriot’s Landing this year, Myers said.
As the new builder on the block, Eastwood will compete with local firms such Ryan Homes, Gemcraft Homes, HHHunt, Royal Dominion and others.
Myers said Eastwood would eventually look for lots in other developments with a goal of building in eight to 10 communities by the end of next year.
“In a perfect world, we would sell and close about 200 houses a year,” he said.
Eastwood hired Long & Foster to handle its listings in the market, with agent Cindy Jez leading the way.
Jez said the company’s home designs range from $250,000 to almost $400,000.
“It’s real exciting to have new blood and new homes in Richmond,” Jez said. “It shows, to me, that we really are turning around and people believe in us.”
The builder will typically keep a furnished model and two spec homes on site at all times in each development, Jez said.
Eastwood’s arrival should give local contractors and suppliers a chance at some extra work. Myers said the company plans to look locally for plumbers, carpenters and electricians. It has already hired a local construction manager.
Richmond is the farthest north Eastwood has ventured since its founding in 1977. It has North Carolina operations in Raleigh, Charlotte, Greensboro and Winston-Salem, and South Carolina operations in Greenville and Charleston.