The Eagle has landed... at Belvedere
Mark Twain famously said "the rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated," and it seems the same quote may hold true for Church Hill Homes. Although the local residential building act known for its craftsman-style construction has been rumored to be in trouble for the past several months, leaving the fate of several developments in question, there's good news now that a bigger company has swooped in and taken Church Hill under its wing.
"This is a great opportunity even without the challenges we've been facing," says Church Hill owner Josh Goldschmidt, of the deal with Eagle Construction, a 24-year-old privately held construction company based in Richmond. Eagle, Goldschmidt says, has purchased the 11 lots Church Hill owns at Belvedere, the massive green development off Rio Road, as well as two houses already under construction there. But despite those purchases, the Church Hill name isn't going away. Instead, Goldschmidt and his Church Hill partner, Jamie Spence, have become Eagle employees and will continue to oversee the Belvedere projects under the Church Hill name.
Goldschmidt says Eagle was attracted to Church Hill's "strong brand" in the Charlottesville market and its capture of the Craftsman-style niche. "They came to us to add value to what Eagle does," says Goldschmidt, who adds he was thrilled to join with Eagle, which he calls both "financially and organizationally strong."
Eagle spokesperson Jeff Kornblau did not immediately return the Hook's call.
While Eagle has taken over Church Hill's Belvedere projects, outside of Belvedere, "Church Hill still exists," Goldschmidt insists. "Everyone keeps saying we're filing for bankruptcy, but we've not done that."
Still, he acknowledges the Eagle deal doesn't solve all of the company's problems. Those problems, he says, stem from "a housing market that's slowed, and significant land debt." Among other Church Hill projects are Carter's View in the Ridge Street neighborhood, Wickham Pond in Crozet, and Water's Edge in Greene County.
Goldschmidt says Church Hill is still working to finish and sell those properties on "a case by case basis."