Powhatan builder stretches east

The home at 366 Albermarle Ave. is under construction by Mitchell Homes. Photo by Brandy Brubaker.

The home at 366 Albermarle Ave. is under construction by Mitchell Homes. Photo by Brandy Brubaker.

A local custom homebuilder is trying to create a larger presence in Hampton Roads.

Mitchell Homes, headquartered in Powhatan, has leased an 1,800-square-foot office at 663 Turnberry Blvd. in Newport News. It’s the company’s third sales and design office, joining locations on Brook Road in Richmond and on Warrenton Road in Fredericksburg.

“We’ve built in that area for years, but we’ve never had a design center or sales center,” Mitchell Homes President Scott Sleeme said of the move to the Peninsula.

Staking a claim in Hampton Roads should also help the company increase business along the Eastern Shore and into North Carolina, Sleeme said.

Mitchell Homes builds on customers’ lots and can help customers find a lot to buy if they don’t already own one. At its sales offices, homebuyers can lay out their new house.

Scott Sleeme

Scott Sleeme

“We’ll build it out with all the interior and exterior selections. There’ll be lighting, flooring, decking, roofing and brick samples,” Sleeme said. “They can view floor plans on a nice big flat screen TV. They can make modifications and changes to the plans we currently have.”

The company was founded by Sleeme’s father, Mitchell Sleeme, in 1992. It built 60 houses last year and another 30 so far this year. In 2013, it reported total sales revenue of $11 million.

About 15 percent of its house sales are in the Hampton Roads area and the rest are split between Richmond and Fredericksburg.

It takes 100 to 120 days on average to build a house, Sleeme said. Mitchell Homes’ average house sells for about $200,000 and is 2,000 square feet.

The company has 22 full-time employees and will add four more to its staff once the Newport News office opens in October.

Future expansion could include a sales office somewhere on the Interstate 81 corridor in the western part of the state, or southern Maryland, although Sleeme said that’s more than a year away.

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