Lombardo selling local lots to Fischer Homes

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Michigan-based Lombardo Homes, which entered the Indianapolis-area market two years ago, is selling its local home sites to another home builder and wrapping up central Indiana operations.

Fischer Homes Inc. announced this week that it has an agreement to acquire Lombardo’s local land assets, which include up to 199 home sites in Carmel, Brownsburg, Fishers, Avon, McCordsville, Plainfield, Greenfield and Pittsboro.

Erlanger, Kentucky-based Fischer said it will also complete construction of about 25 area homes that Lombardo already sold and started to build.

In addition, Fischer will take over management of local Lombardo homes that have been sold and are still under warranty.

Financial terms were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close in 30 to 45 days.

Lombardo officials did not return phone messages Tuesday seeking comment on the reasons for their plans. A local sales representative said employees were told Monday that the company intends to sell its remaining inventory of completed homes and exit the market.

Based in Michigan’s Shelby Township, about 30 miles north of Detroit, Lombardo primarily builds homes in southeast Michigan. The 50-year-old company expanded into suburban St. Louis in 2011.

Lombardo entered the central Indiana market in January 2013 by acquiring lots from bankrupt builders near Geist Reservoir and Plainfield. Its plan was to build 20 local homes priced from $400,000 to $600,000 in 2013 and about 75 more in 2014.

It’s unclear how many area homes Lombardo actually developed locally. The company hasn’t responded to surveys IBJ uses to compile its annual lists of area home builders.

The local division is led by industry veteran Ed Hackett, who previously spent 12 years with Centex Homes before it was purchased by Pulte Group in 2009.

The acquisition will add eight new neighborhoods to Fischer’s local portfolio, bringing its total to 43 in the region.

Brad Kriner, market president for Fischer Homes, said the acquisition fits well with his company’s strategic plan because it includes “areas we are already in or want to be in.”

About two-thirds of the lots are ready to build on, he said. The rest are on “to-be-developed” land.

“The key to this deal was acquiring the land,” Kriner said. “Land availability for residential development is really limited in desirable areas right now.”

About 40 of the sites are in the Fountains of North Ridge neighborhood in Brownsburg. Another 27 are in the planned Tallyn’s Ridge subdivision at West 146th Street near Shelborne Road in Carmel.

Fischer Homes, founded in 1980, has quickly become one of the area’s most active builders since opening an Indianapolis office in early 2010. The builder has about 50 employees at its local headquarters.

According to IBJ’s latest survey, Fischer ranked seventh among Indianapolis-area production home builders in 2013 with 267 permits filed. The Fischer Homes Grand Estate Custom division ranked third among custom home builders with $14.5 million in 2013 revenue.

Fischer builds homes priced from $160,000 to $1.2 million, but the majority fall in the $300,000-to-$500,000 range.


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