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Estridge becomes division of national home builder

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The Estridge Group, a fixture in the Indianapolis-area’s homebuilding industry for more than 40 years, is now part of a Houston-based company.

David Weekley Homes announced Tuesday morning that it has entered the local market by teaming with Carmel-based Estridge to form Estridge by David Weekley Homes.

Estridge’s decision to team with David Weekley Homes, the nation’s second-largest privately held home builder, follows Estridge’s struggle in recent months to keep afloat.

Owner Paul Estridge Jr., who will become Indianapolis division president of David Weekley Homes, said in March that he would be forced to discontinue sales operations within 30 days if he could not line up investors.

Estridge said that he succeeded in raising $4 million in capital to secure construction financing but ultimately chose to join with David Weekley Homes.
 
“At the end of the day, the decision was made largely because of the unbelievable respect I have for David Weekley,” Estridge told IBJ. “Although I have raised the capital, I have very little confidence that the banking environment would be as such that we could do this on our own going forward.”

Estridge, which traces its roots to 1967, becomes the latest in a string of local home builders to succumb to one of the worst housing markets in decades. C.P. Morgan Communities LP and Davis Homes folded in 2009, and Hansen & Horn Group Inc. followed suit in 2010.

Nationally, new-home sales declined from 1.2 million in pre-recession 2005 to 321,000 in 2010. According to the Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis, home permits during the same five-year period in central Indiana dropped from 13,202 to 3,720.

New-home construction could fall even more this year. Building permits filed in the Indianapolis area during the first three months of 2011 fell by 31 percent compared with the same period a year ago.

David Weekley Homes, however, is confident it can tap into the Indianapolis market.

“I was intrigued by the idea because I knew we had similar philosophies to business [as Estridge] and saw an opportunity,” company Chairman David Weekley said in a prepared statement.

Founded in 1976, David Weekley Homes operates in 14 cities across the country and is the latest outside home builder to enter the Indianapolis market.

Potterhill Homes Ltd. and Fischer Homes Inc., both based in the Cincinnati area, arrived last year.

David Weekley Homes will begin sales next month in Anderson Hall in Fishers and Highland Green in Brownsburg, both Estridge developments. The company is expected to begin building homes in June.

Estridge had been offering home sites in 17 neighborhoods, according to the company’s website.

Estridge is leaving its headquarters at Clay Terrace in Carmel for 7,500 square feet of space at 1041 W. Main St., also in Carmel. About six employees will accompany Estridge to the new venture. Estridge said he is hopeful that number could grow to 24 within the next year.

 

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  • Not True
    David Weekly homes is selling prior Estridge floor plans with minor exterior treatment changes. Seems those floor plans should have been sold to David Weekly homes and the money returned to contractors. The fact Paul is the president of David Weekly Homes Indianapolis Division means there were more then lots bought. The courts will settle this one!
  • INFO
    David Weekley homes did not "absorb" Estrdige. David Weekley simply bought the land (lots) that Estridge owned, and hired some of the Estridge team. David Weekley is not in any way an Estridge merger, but simply bought the lots, and Indianapolis experienced team members.
    David Weekley is actually a well recognized home builder and is most known for its quality and customer service. Whether or not Paul Estridge will survive with David Weekley will only be told with time.
    • To Happy Estridge Customer
      To Happy Estridge Customer, you are a minority of one. I hope that your experience continues to be positive. I am 38 yrs. old and Paul Jr. has been a fixture in my life since I was a teenager. I can guarantee you that the demise of Estridge has nothing to do with the economy but rather Paul Jr's lack of regard for his fellow man. Many Hoosiers have been victimized by Paul Jr's actions and he is a disgrace. My family will be forever scarred and damaged by what Paul Jr. has done to us. I can't imagine the heartbrache Paul Sr. is feeling. We will be looking forward to the day when Paul Jr. atones for his sins.
    • Ripped Off
      We were building with Estridge and a month before we were supposed to move in, they fold. They STOLE our earnest money and downpayement money. We have been told that our contract is no longer good and that our downpayment money is gone. It was never put into an escrow account like it is supposed to by law. The "bank" that now owns the home will not agree to the previous contract and their so called negotiations are little more than a scam. When we approached Estridge about the money, we were told to just wait it out and maybe they could help...Yeah right.
    • Happy Estridge Homeowner
      I built a home with Estridge last year and have nothing but great things to say about the company. The home was constructed well, and surpassed the scrutiny of my own dad, who was a carpenter for many, many years. To clarify, the home is not on a slab, it has a full basement, is 16 on center studs, and was well insulated during this cold Indiana winter! In addition, Mr. Estridge is attempting to do right with regards to the loss of the full 3 year warranty. I have just recently received information of his intent to offer another warranty (in addition to the Residential Warranty that all new homebuyers receive). It seems to me that he is doing his best to help homebuyers that recently built an Estridge home. It's a shame that the negative comments on this board don't shed light as to the basis of their relationship with Estridge. I feel like it should be his customers, like myself, and also his contractors, who publicly make reference to the intentions of Mr. Estridge and the company. I (unlike many of the other respondents on this board) at least somewhat understand the economic turmoil of the housing market, and the credit market, and am saddened for my family that we lost a tremendous 3 year "full" warranty...but I don't blame Mr. Estridge.

      Sincerely,
      A Happy Estridge Customer
      • hardly shocking
        This is for the guy that said, he wouldn't have estridge build him a dog house. I doubt he would know which end of the hammer to hold. Just because you call yourself a builder, doesn't mean you actually know how to build a house.
      • Hey Mr. Surprised
        You state Estridge is flat broke but owns his home and a "nice" car. I thought of an idea Mr. Surprised! If Paul is really upset about screwing over so many customers, vendors and lending institutions. He could SELL his huge mansion and surrounding acreage and pay down some of his debt. Wouldn't that be the right thing to do? Oh, and of course he would need a new home. However, seems there are plenty of vinyl clad "estridge built" homes for sale on cement slabs. The digs wouldn't be as lavish and they are known to be kind of drafty in the winter though, might have a leaky roof and for the the warranties don't cover much. But........, I bet he could get a good deal on one and then he and his family could truly live the "Estridge Experience".
      • No Tears for Estridge
        Hey Surprised, there are many Estridge homeowners who have the facts. You stating "I am pretty sure Mr. Estridge is flat broke". Well if you have been following all of the articles about him securing investors in 2010 to save the company (investors bought into Estridge for millions), allegedly failing to repay a $1 million investment from BOA and not paying his contractors millions you would understand and know the facts yourself. So yes, the public needs to hear the real facts and not just the Paul Estridge story. Mr. Paul Estridge is just a dishonest business man. Paul Estridge stated "it's been blood,sweat and tears --and a lot of tears" for him and his family. Well guess what, now he knows how it feels. His homeowner and contractors have real tears not fake one's. Mr. Paul Estridge needs to stop building. He just doesn't care about his homeowner's, quality, and surely doesn't care about the contractors who have built his homes. Mr. Estridge has burned his bridges with almost all the contractors in the area. He surely got paid for all the homes he's built unlike the contractors that are suffering because Paul Estridge had other plans for the money owed to them. Must I mention all the liens and problems the homeowners are having with their homes. So please don't waste everyone's time with your "pretty sure" statements. We want honesty and good quality homes.
      • Hey surprised
        Are you going to beat on the other posts. Seems Paul getting some bad press. Better get that PR firm to beat down the rest of the posts.
      • Not a Good Idea
        Two things struck be about this article.

        First, David Weekley's quote "I was intrigued by the idea. I knew we had similar philosophies to business" (Estridge).....
        Words of advice.
        Read all the blogs David Weekley, seems there is a lot left to be desired about Mr. Estridge's philosophy and ethics regarding business. A valid track record has been established.

        Number two I would rethink the name choice, "Estridge By David Weekley Homes". Agree with the previous blogger, if the media would do a fair and thorough investigation of Estridge's dealings with former customers, I doubt the Weekley company would want their name attached, to the "Estridge" brand.
      • Hey No Tears you might not know all
        Hey Mr. No Tears, are you sure you have the facts because I am pretty sure Mr. Estridge is just about flat broke. I don't think he has millions sitting in the bank. He might have a nice house and car that was paid off years and years ago, but that doesn't mean the guy is sitting on millions. This man poured all his money into the company to try to keep it going. Maybe he made some poor financial decisions like he probably kept too many people employed for too long, at one point he had created over 100 jobs for the area. Sometimes business's don't succeed all though I don't think his company was a failure, it might be a casualty of tough times and poor decisions during those tough times but that happens. What help are offering by tearing an already beat up man down even more? I don't think he intentionally screwed anyone, maybe some subs didn't get paid, maybe some investors lost money, maybe some of the snobby homeowners didn't get their precious pool, but at some point people need to grow up realize in life things don't always go to plan. I doubt it was in Paul's plan to have his company go out of business. People need to get all the information or they need to keep their mouths shut and you my friend don't know all the facts so just keep your negativity to yourself cause it helps no one out.
        • Public Voices-Let the truth be known!
          News media please help the homeowners who built with Estridge get their voices out there. It's not fair to all of us who have been taken down by this dishonest man and his whole company. The Estridge nightmare and fraud has been going on for at least three years. Just take a poll with the people who have built in any of his neighborhoods. Ask the contractors how much Paul Estridge owes them. Millions, yes millions. And no it's not the economy or the banks, people have been building with this company and Paul Estridge has been stealing the money from the home sales to pay himself and his staff. Not paying his contractors and screwing his homeowners in so many ways. So many people have contractor liens on their homes because Paul Estridge is an evil and greedy businessman. He kept the money himself instead of paying the contractors who did the work. What did he do besides lie and steal from everyone? Paul has begged, borrowed and stole money from anyone he can in Indy, and lied to everyone. David Weekley Homes, you are welcomed to Indiana but leave Paul Estridge out of the game. If anyone does business with Paul Estridge your world will be turned upside down and your heart's will be broken over and over. Just because he has David Weekley's financial support doesn't mean he will change his ways. Paul Estridge takes advantage of the people who build with him. Paul Estridge will build your home and if it's not to your standards that's to bad. This is how I built it and you will take it. Paul, thanks for not caring about the people who have made you millions.
        • do some research
          As I read over your long list on complaints and facts, I feel sorry for you that your house is a little cold during the winter months. But I can tell you, that you don't know everything that this man owns or doesn't own. For one he does not own a golf club. If the golf club your referring to is Wood Wind in Westfield, Estridge nor Paul have anything do to with Wood Wind. It is not owned by Paul or anyone related to him. He lost the golf course months ago to the previous owners and it is now being leased and operated by a new Golf Management Company. The place is actually in tremendous shape and they have terrific people out there, I suggest going out there and enjoying it with friends and family. And you can do this knowing Paul has nothing to do with Wood Wind. I actually noticed they ripped down all Estridge signs from their grounds to show they have no affiliation and I don't blame them.
        • Robbing Peter
          It was easy to see that this Symphony project was a scan to rob Peter to pay Paul. This is what was told to subcontractors in order to placate them so more while the remaining funds coming in were diverted to other entities closely held or aligned with Estridge. Friends of Paul subcontractors were placed at the front of the line for the dropping he gave out but the small subs were screwed.

          Paul portrays himself as this great "Christian" man and this great leader but how Christian is it to lie repeatedly at Homeowner's Association meetings and make promises to our faces that he later backs out of? Folks in our neighborhood are dealing with liens against their homes by unpaid subcontractors and Estridge quit paying HOA dues on the same lots he continued to sell and profit off of. This is not the banks fault or the economy...this is a dishonest person with lots of money continuing to get richer off the folks he screwed.
        • irenis, couldn't have said it better
          Your points are all valid.
        • Scammed by the Man
          I have read many, many comments about Paul Estridge and his companies, some good reviews, mostly bad. It seems like any portion of the building business, he is involved with, sooner or later ends up harming, either a homeowner, who trusted his company, a finance company making loans available and numerous vendors, many of whom were very small vendors, strung out for months, waiting for their past due monies to feed their families. Paul has listed a myriad of excuses for his failure to follow through on all of the complaints, citing the banks lack of cooperation in loaning money, the lower demand for new housing etc. He does not blame, his own lack of ethics, for the failure to deliver promised goods and services to all of his customers. Here is a man who continues living in a beautiful mansion and owns a golf club, yet he has defaulted on a million dollar bank loan, as well as trusting customers who paid there money, and now are left with unresolved, tax liens, because Paul won't or can't pay his vendors. I guess he doesn't like to service "the little people". He came very close to talking Andy Cook into forking over millions in tax payer dollars, so he could start his dream project "Symphony". When that failed to capitalize he shows up as an executive officer with the second largest, production home building company in the US. So, I assume, in spite of all of his past due financial obligations, he is pressing on with his "Symphony" plan to dump hundreds more vinyl clad homes on the Westfield cornfields.

          He has used many tactics through the years. He usually employed a crack ,sharp, sales team, well trained in what he calls "The Estridge Home Experience", his team easily seduced customers into thinking they were dealing with a legitimate company. I always found it comical the way his sales team gave Paul a God like aura when speaking of his graces. His communities usually offered fine amenities and it all looked pretty from the outside. The trouble with Paul and his ethics, started the day after a customer signed on the dotted line.
          Example the classic "Bait and Switch" scam. Unfortunately, we are elderly people and we fell for it. We were sold on the attached dwelling units as they were promoted as "Maintenance Free". I still have the brochures. We were told, for a quarterly maintenance fee, all outside structures would be taken care of. No worries for homeowner i.e. the maintenance free slogan. Our responsibility, as homeowners, only covered stud to stud. The association would provide all other services outside, with exception of back patio. All we had to maintain was the interior structure and back patio.

          Well be did have a problem with the sprinkler system, a broken nozzle sprayed water all over the front of the building, eventually, resulting in lingering mildew, which started on the exterior. Not the home owners problem, right? Thats what we were instructed at closing. 3 months after we bought the property, Paul Estridge, under a general excuse of expanding the needs of the development, REMOVED the clause ,in the covenants, protecting homeowner's liability for any outside damage in attached buildings and slipped in a clause that says essentially any problem, no matter who is at fault (builder, various contractors) are not responsible for any problems on the outside of the building. In other words any outside problem, no matter if it is a construction defect or lack of maintenance is considered to be an interior problem or a homeowners liability. No exceptions. Obviously this is where the bait and switch comes into play. Not only was the clause slipped in with out our knowledge or the knowledge of other tenants, it was done after we purchased the property. No one knew, as the company never bothered to send amended copies, of the covenants, to homeowners, until a new management team came in and took the books over from Estridge.
          As Paul lives in his beautiful mansion and finds investors to save his face. My family struggled once again through a cold, drafty winter in a newly constructed home. No answers for why we endure temperatures, in some rooms of 60 degrees on cold nights. Mind you, we went into this venture, trusting this man, so much, we paid him cash. I know stupid and now the best heating source we have is our $65 space heater we purchased from Lowes. I have asked Paul to come by an experience how very cold our house is and what we endure during the winter. Never heard back from him. Though I noticed a couple of years ago he joined HGTV to build an "energy efficient home" for a poor family for charity. He was interviewed at the time and was so pleased the family would be warm during the cold months. He garnered a lot of press for that good deed. My biggest fear, this man will be allowed, unabated, due to private investors and back room deals, to continue constructing these nightmares for unsuspecting customers. He should be ashamed.
          • Still going Strong
            AGREED name change is needed
          • Still going Strong
            I agree they have not done a good job of making the spilt known.
          • better get some distance
            You would think ECG would get a name change ..............quick!
            • Still going Strong
              Yes it is. However it is important to note that they are going STRONG and not let what is going on effect a strong standing new builder in the area.
            • That is where the confusion is
              The problem then is that these news stories do not make the distinction that the new ECG is in no way connected to the old company.

              Same way the story above implies that Weekley absorbed Estridge. They need to be more specific.
              • That confirms what they told me....
                Too bad they were anchored to the Estridge Companies before then. It doesn't help those of use that built with ECG before 2010.
                • Still going Strong
                  They are a completely different entity now and will not be handling the warranty work for Estridge. Did no one direct you to Estridge Custom Galleries?
                • I don't believe this is true
                  I called Estridge trying to get ahold of Estridge Custom Galleries and got the same response that they are not doing warranty work.
                • Still going Strong
                  Estridge Custom Galleries is still going strong. They broke off financially from The Estridge Group back in October of 2010. They are not responsible for any Custom Homes built or started before that time. They are in strong financial standings and are continuing to do well.
                  • Built with Estridge Custom Galleries
                    We did build with Estridge Custom Gallaries, but when I call the numbers they say they are close for business.
                    • Estridge's Hidden Companies
                      Paul Estridge, Jr. has many other company names he is building under. Just another game Paul Estridge likes to play. Take your games and business to another country, you have destroyed Indiana. Shame on YOU!
                    • RUN from building with Estridge
                      Our recent custom home with Estridge is a mess. See Estridge "just doesn't care". It doesn't matter if your building a $200K or $1 million home with Estridge you get a house that leaks along with all the other problems that they know how to build. Their service calls were a joke when they did come out, never corrected the problems. If you are still in the process of building with them "get everything in writing". Future people looking to build a good quality home find another builder. You don't want or need the lies from Estridge. Hey Mr. Estridge, man up and pay your bills and if you want to continue building you owe your past customers a lot. Fix their home's first and then learn what quality homes and customer service really means. Honestly, going directly thru the contractors will get your home repairs done correctly. Paul Estridge was always cheap about building and repairs.
                    • There will be another meeting
                      Paul likes to have meetings and tell you how transparent he is and here is the plan. After that falls through with no results he has another meeting and has another plan. When that falls through another meeting and another plan. Homeowners be ready for another meeting since there were no results from the last one he publicy said would happen in the news. It'll be coming. Just act like one of his faithful sheep and believe and follow. Blahblahbla or baaaahh
                    • Chief Servant
                      My custom home was a joke. That has to be the most dysfunctional company in history. There are not enough sides of their mouths to talk out of. The burning through good employees, subs, and customers all for "Chief Servant's" ego is disgusting. Oh but wait, he is so principled that this is just has to be a case of bad things happening to good people. I wouldn't have this yutz build a dog house for me. Folks this aint no merger. This is a national company getting into Indy. Jr. hangs around for a year kissing babies and telling you that this is a good thing and Estridge has never been stronger as he packs the Uhaul at night. Cut your losses and go get a builder that is on firmer ground
                      • Agreed
                        Attended the meeting, heard the same options, and am still waiting for the return of my deposit.
                      • Broken Promises
                        When Paul Estridge met with a group of customers to indicate he would not be able to move forward with the building of our homes, he laid out three primary options for his home-seeking clients, he said: Get a refund for deposits on houses not yet started, have the homeowner provide financing for construction costs upfront, or transfer the contract to one of two companies owned by his brothers-in-law (Estridge Custom Galleries and Coronado Custom Homes). Months later, we have not received our earnest money deposit back and continually get the run around from Estridge on when we will receive this money despite their ability to focus on new business!! In my opinion, they have no one to blame for their current state other than themselves and their poor decisions!!

                        • Laura knows, Jack don't know squat
                          Herded the sheep just like Jack.
                        • unethical
                          Laura, I guess you really don't know Paul that well. I'm sorry you feel the way you do, but he has sacrificed alot as well....more then people realize. He is not unethical and has literally put everything he has into saving the company! I wish people would remember all the good he has done for the community throughout the years, but people always seem to forget that and focus on the negative. That is what is wrong with this country. Always focus on the bad news and not the good news. Good luck to you!
                          • Estridge Custom Galleries
                            I know it is confusing when you hear that Estridge had to shut down sales operations and basically is done as a company, but then to hear that Estridge Custom Galleries is still going strong. The Fact is that Estridge Custom Galleries is not owned by Paul or the Estridge Companies, it is owned by two other independent individuals who took over the custom business, but wanted to build on the good Estridge name because as we all know they have built extremely high quality homes. Build with Estridge Custom Galleries, I did and it has been an exceptional home for me and my family.
                            • used and abused and broke sub
                              I contracted and believed in Paul and always talked good about him. He put on a good front and left us hanging for over 200K. Were not the only ones. There will be many more of his SHEEP that hang on.
                            • what a mess
                              What ever happened with the estridge securities fraud lawsuit... this is weekleys company not estridge..just the name.... surprised weekley kept Paul around... there have been so many problems caused by estridge, I suspect some foul play here. It will be interesting to see what happens
                            • Kids
                              Notice all the kiddies in the headlines lately? Marsh. Hoffmeister. Estridge. Makes me smile. It's tough to run daddy's business - especially when you hadn't had to work for it.
                            • TRUMP STRATEGY
                              HE IS USING THE TRUMP STRATEGY, GET OUT OF PAYING FOR MATERIAL AND SERVICES AND OPEN A NEW CORPORATION. OH WELL BYE BYE ESTRIDGE
                            • a Long time in coming
                              My daughter was the #1 Estridge salesperson and had worked for over 5 years with the company and I myself worked over 5 years with them also. Without warning on her day off a new employee called and told her she was terminated!! They thought I would continue with them and I said NO. This was at the beginning of the housing bust. I know several people personally Paul spoke glowingly to them only to have them fired!! I so believed in him and his 'principles' but was shocked into reality. I'm not surprised at what has happened and I feel sorry for all the people he misled!!!
                              • unethical
                                Paul Estridge hired several people who had good jobs and were supporting families while aware of his financial trouble. This was not relayed to the employees until 3 weeks after they were hired. They were thrown out on the street and were not paid in full according to their contracts with Estridge. How could he do that to families knowing the tough job market? He is unethical and should not be allowed to continue his business venture. If anyone believes that he had financing in place but chose the other option, they are very naive. He had no other option.
                                • warranty work?
                                  I understand selling business assets to a competitor after a total bankruptcy.However this sounds like a merger? and as such Weekly homes assumes assets and some liabilities such as taxes,payroll, finish work not completed to resent home sales, and warranty obligations of homes sold by Estridge. These liability are done in the course of business and are fully understood by ethical businessmen. Anything less and Weekley should be denied a license to do business in Indiana..
                                • Which companies still exist and which don't?
                                  I am very confused regarding the closing of Estridge. We built our home with Estridge Custom Galleries. Multiple articles state that Estridge Custom Galleries is still in business.

                                  http://centralohionewbuilds.com/home-builder-lays-off-workers-needs-2m-to-stay-afloat/

                                  "Estridge said the $1 billion Symphony development at 146th Street and Ditch Road in Westfield remains unaffected by the Estridge Groupâ??s struggles. He also stressed that his familyâ??s other business, Estridge Custom Galleries, is still strong."

                                  http://www.ibj.com/home-builder-estridge-promises-to-finish-homes-fight-on/PARAMS/article/26010

                                  "He laid out three primary options for his home-seeking clients, he said: Get a refund for deposits on houses not yet started, have the homeowner provide financing for construction costs upfront, or transfer the contract to one of two companies owned by his brothers-in-law (Estridge Custom Galleries and Coronado Custom Homes)."

                                  Is this true or are all 3 companies now defunct? Also, the IBJ also has an article today that says that Estridge is now part of Houston based Weekley Homes. The sentence below implies that the company has been absorbed by Weekley. Does that mean that Weekly absorbs all the warranties?

                                  "The Estridge Group, a fixture in the Indianapolis-areaâ??s homebuilding industry for more than 40 years, is now part of a Houston-based company."
                                • Warranties?
                                  "The Estridge Group, a fixture in the Indianapolis-areaâ??s homebuilding industry for more than 40 years, is now part of a Houston-based company."

                                  This implies that Weekley Homes is buying Estridge. This is very confusing. If this is the case does that mean Weekley Homes is honoring all the outstanding warranties?
                                • Seriously?
                                  Paul Estridge has no respect for anyone but himself. No respect for his contractors or homeowners. You owe millions to your contractors and walked from all the warranties on the homes you built. Your contractors have bills and employees to pay but you walked from paying them and paid yourself. Now you partner up with a new company (David Weekley Homes) and want people to build with you. Seriously? You must give respect in order to receive respect.
                                  • Blame Game
                                    I find it amusing that Mr. Estridge continues to blame his company's woes on "the banking industry". Oddly, other builders have actually entered the market in the past 18 months.

                                    Perhaps its not the banking industry that's the problem, its a company that was run into the ground by the largess of it's owner.

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