Comstock Homebuilding Companies Inc. doesn’t just build homes anymore, and it’s changing its name to reflect the new multi-tasking, diversified business it has created to survive.
Comstock Holding Companies will be the publicly traded company’s new name, subject to shareholder vote in June. It’s ticker symbol remains CHCI.
“When the company went public in 2005 or so, a pure-play home building company made sense,” said Chief Financial Officer Joseph Squeri. “But our skill sets are not limited to that.”
“We had the legacy home building business, but given the skill sets of our executives and our talent base, we believe that going after the multifamily market, as well as some real estate services to supplement our cash flow, [is] the way to go,” he said.
The root of the name change came last year when the company finished its realignment plan that called for it to focus only on the core greater Washington, D.C., market and move beyond just building for-sale houses to apartment development, commercial construction, mixed-use development, and various real estate services, including asset management and finance, Squeri said.
Since then the company built a 103-unit apartment complex in Loudoun County, Va., with the intention of holding it and operating it. Comstock sold it in February, a year after breaking ground.
“That will be a profitable build for us,” he said.
Squeri said Comstock has been able to repair its relationships with its bankers after the downturn left the company mired in the economic slowdown.
Last summer Comstock forged a joint venture with SunBridge Capital Management, a private investment company whose backers include the Bainum family, an investor in Choice Hotels International. Each agreed to contribute up to $25 million to create a fund to find new opportunities. SunBridge also agreed to provide as much as $20 million in debt financing for Comstock.
“We have been impressed with Comstock’s extensive local knowledge and expertise in the Washington, D.C., market,” SunBridge Chairman Chuck Ledsinger said in a news release at the time. “This alliance is consistent with our strategy of investing in industries and organizations with demonstrated leadership and experience where our skill sets are complementary."
Teresa Burney is a senior editor at Builder.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Washington, DC.