The March, 2012 edition of Builder Magazine – http://www.builderonline.com- features an article on Wieland Communities, the new entity created by John Wieland to work with banks in fixing, what they term as “broken subdivision deals”. The article describes Wieland as
“…..one of the largest private builders in the country, with extensive land holdings and a stunning debt load. The company is now joined at the hip with a consortia of banks and a private equity firm that closely monitors its progress”
The article goes on to say that:
“Proceeds from the new deals are used to pay off the debts of the mother-ship (John Wieland Homes and Communities – clarification added). Key to the strategy is doing debt-light subdivision workouts in Class A locations.”
The article describes a tour of subdivisions where Wieland is partnering with banks who have foreclosed on the lots. While Vickery is not part of the article (and may not be part of this strategy), Woodstock Downtown – which contains homes similar to Vickery – is featured in the article. The tour of Woodstock Downtown describes Wieland’s plans to “save” the subdivision:
“Building forms were simplified to be economically trussed. Strong entries and porches were kept, but not as many. Wood roofs, a clear extravagance for production housing, were replaced by asphalt shingles, since the roofs are hard to see from the narrow streets anyway. The Wieland homes are still clad with stone, but only along the foundation or on the front elevation”
Translated to common language – standard-issue roof trusses will be used, eliminating the variation in roof lines seen in Vickery homes today, and exterior architectural details will be minimized. These traits are already visible in the three homes built in Vickery that have caused such an uproar in our neighborhood.
Mr. Wieland is also quoted as saying – about the wood shingled roofs, stone-clad homes and the fact that no two home entries are alike in Woodstock Downtown:
“You could never do this today”.
Really??? That might be true for Woodstock Downtown, but it is not true in Vickery. We know this because both T-Olive Properties and Luxe Properties have had good success building homes in Vickery that posses the individuality and architectural detail that compliment our original homes. In fact, both T-Olive and Luxe are running out of lots to build on, while Wells Fargo holds approx 200 lots for Wieland and rejects offers from others.
Being “joined at the hip” with Wells Fargo has its advantages for Wieland – but not for Vickery. Wieland can come into high-end subdivisions, build lesser-quality homes and use those profits to pay off the high debt load on his company. This works because he can capitalize on the homes that already exist. So, who pays for this creative debt-reduction scheme? The original homeowners who have invested large sums of money to buy a home in a community that offers a unique environment or location. In Vickery, it would appear that Wieland and Wells have been joined at the hip to sell sub-par properties with only two winners – Wells and Wieland.