An area homebuilder is starting off 2018 with a transition in leadership and a recent addition to its local real estate portfolio.
Eagle Construction of VA has named Josh Goldschmidt as president and Richard “Ricky” Core Jr. as vice chairman and chief financial officer. The appointments took effect Jan. 1.
Goldschmidt, previously an executive vice president and an Eagle employee since 2008, replaces former president Steve Settlage, who had told the company he planned to step down Dec. 31.
Core, also a principal with private equity firm Markel | Eagle Partners, said he and Goldschmidt have been working with Settlage on the transition for more than a year. They said Settlage is not retiring but spending more time in Florida, serving Eagle in a consultant role while pursuing other work opportunities.
Settlage had served as president since 2014, when he replaced Bud Ohly, who founded Eagle Construction with company chairman Bryan Kornblau in 1984. Settlage joined the company in 2011 from his former development firm, Tascon Group.
Goldschmidt, 47, co-owned Church Hill Homes, a regional homebuilding firm in the Charlottesville area, before joining Eagle Construction in 2008. Starting in sales and marketing positions, he was later promoted to vice president of sales, marketing and design. He was named executive vice president in January 2017.
Kornblau said Goldschmidt’s experience in sales and marketing and as an owner of a homebuilding business makes him well-suited to lead Eagle Construction.
“He has gained an extraordinary amount of experience in the day-to-day operations and the activities associated with the physical construction part of the business,” said Kornblau, adding that Goldschmidt will be working in tandem with Core, 36, whose focus will be on business operations.
“Ricky Core has been with me for a long time in his position with Markel | Eagle and has an unbelievable acumen for the financial part of the businesses. The duo will have all the tools necessary to take Eagle to places that it hasn’t been before,” Kornblau said.
The pair leads a homebuilding staff of just over 100, the bulk of those positions based at Eagle’s headquarters at West Broad Village in western Henrico County. The company totals nearly 150 employees with additional positions in property management, title insurance and other departments.
Goldschmidt and Core said Eagle built 310 homes combined in the Richmond and Williamsburg areas in 2017. Locally, its residential construction numbers have risen over the years, with 186 homes built in the Richmond area in 2016, up from 121 the previous year, according to BizSense’s annual rankings of area homebuilders.
The company sold 168 homes in 2016, up from 146 in 2015. The average sale price in 2016 was $468,389, with an average home size of 2,750 square feet.
Core and Goldschmidt would not disclose annual revenue numbers for Eagle Construction, which is part of the Eagle Companies, a collective owned by Markel Ventures, the investment arm of local insurance giant Markel Corp.
Markel Ventures acquired Eagle in 2013. The family of companies also includes commercial real estate brokerage Eagle Commercial Realty and Innslake Title, which handles title insurance, as well as a residential resale arm, Precision Realty. Markel | Eagle Partners handles real estate investment management.
Before the official change in leadership, Eagle closed out 2017 with an addition to its real estate portfolio, purchasing a 40-acre parcel at 12600 Bacova Drive on Nov. 9 for $4.12 million, according to Henrico property records.
The parcel, previously owned by trustees of Helen Payne and John Long, had been eyed for townhomes and office use by Henrico-based Duke Development, which had been under contract to purchase the property before withdrawing a rezoning request last June.
Core said the previous owners approached Eagle about purchasing the property, plans for which he said have not been determined.
The property adds to Eagle’s other investments in western Henrico and eastern Goochland, where Markel | Eagle Partners continues to develop its 75-acre GreenGate mixed-use project along West Broad Street in Short Pump. Eagle Construction is building the townhomes and detached single-family homes for that development.
Across the county line in Goochland, Eagle Construction is planning to build as many as 308 single-family homes on about 153 acres at 1515 Hockett Road, south of Broad Street Road on three parcels between Hockett and State Route 288.
Goldschmidt said those projects and others will drive Eagle’s business this year and into 2019.
“Our outlook for 2018 is very positive,” Core said. “We continue to have tremendous opportunities at Greengate; we’re looking at different opportunities in Goochland; our portfolio to the east is performing well and we’ve added a few new communities (there).”
Added Goldschmidt: “That eastern Goochland area that we’re working on is a place where we’ve found great success, and we’re very optimistic about that part of the world. That area was where Eagle Construction did well during the worst of times, so we feel like that’s a place in the market for us that’s very strong.”