By Wendy Leibowitz. Looking for expansion capital a decade ago, Mitchell C. Hochberg, founder of luxury home builder Spectrum Group, thought he found the ideal partner in Skanska AB. Home building division executives at the world's No. 2 global construction giant, headquartered in Stockholm, also thought so at the time, acquiring the Westchester County, N.Y.-based builder in 1996.
But a new management regime at Skanska decided a year ago that companies which weren't No. 1 or No. 2 in their primary markets no longer fit in Skanska's portfolio. Fortunately for Hochberg, who stayed on to guide the company, he and his management team were given the opportunity to buy the company back in a deal involving private equity and secondary financing from Skanska that closed in May.
The company, originally founded in 1985, will now be called Spectrum Communities, reflecting the company's focus on luxury residential communities in the New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Massachusetts areas. According to Hochberg, who will serve as president and CEO, the Valhalla, N.Y.-based building company closed 400 homes last year and has 2,000 lots in the pipeline in communities ranging in size from 25 to 500 units with average starting prices in the $500,000 to $700,000 range. The company, with 180 employees, has an estimated book value of $20 million, according to Hochberg.
Spectrum's communities are known for higher-end lifestyle amenities including meeting houses, country stores, indoor and outdoor swimming pools with waterfalls and splash fountains, championship tennis courts, signature golf courses, and private marinas. "By the end of this year we plan to grand open five new communities in Westchester, Rockland, Suffolk, and Dutchess Counties in New York," said Hochberg.