Harmony work to begin in Westfield in March

Paul Estridge, Jr. is returning to the home-building business after securing $25 million from a private-equity firm in North Carolina. Carmel-based Estridge Homes LLC will use the capital infusion from Charlotte-based Mountain Real Estate Capital to begin acquiring land and build premier homes and neighborhoods in the Indianapolis metropolitan area.

The Estridge-Mountain venture’s first project will be Harmony, a 270-acre master plan community in Westfield on Ditch Road between 146th and 156th streets. Estridge said land has been acquired and construction is set to begin in March.

Harmony will be a multi-generational, amenity and club centric neighborhood with seven house styles ranging in size from 1,400 to 3,600 square feet, with starting prices from $225,000 to $425,000. Amenities will include water features, walking trails, a grand multi-purpose clubhouse, outdoor pool, play structure, putting green, and basketball, tennis and sand volleyball courts.

“We have known Paul Estridge for several years and were delighted that he agreed to join our national team of Best-in-Class builders,” stated Joel Kaul, managing director for Mountain’s Minneapolis office. “Paul’s earned a reputation for great home designs and neighborhoods, high-quality craftsmanship and outstanding customer service.”

The Estridge family has been building homes in central Indiana since 1967 under various companies started by Paul Estridge, Sr., who died in September, and his son, Paul Jr. Estridge companies have developed as many as 20 communities and estimates to have built about 8,000 homes.

Estridge’s company was recognized as one of the top 10 companies to work for in Indiana from 2007 to 2009. When the recession hit and the housing market collapsed, Paul Jr. filed Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy in September 2011.

“We had the opportunity to partner with several different groups, but for me it’s always about the people, and there’s no finer group than Mountain. They have a team that’s smart, creative and fun,” Estridge said. “Buyers today want experience in design and reputation. We have that, and the partnership with Mountain means we’ll be able to do what we’re passionate about: build high-design homes and neighborhoods.”

Over the past three years, Mountain, founded in 1993, has invested more than $700 million in similar ventures with private homebuilders in 18 states. The equity firm is capitalized with more than $1 billion. The deal with Estridge will be Mountain’s first investment in central Indiana.