By: Malcolm Mayhew
Fourteen years ago, what is now HGC Real Estate Services built its very first building. It was a garage. Sometime this year or early next, the company will build its 200th house. And one of those houses is the 2014 Fort Worth, Texas magazine Dream Home.
The company has never built a Dream Home for the magazine, but the timing is right, says Rick Wegman, one of four partners in the company. The partners have been talking about doing one for years. HGC is a multi-faceted organization with development, building, real estate, architecture and interior design arms.
The home is on a 16,000-square-foot lot at 4800 Estonia Court. Montserrat has more than 30 acres of parks and green space and 150-foot cliffs that overlook Mary’s Creek.
“We thought this lot would be great. It’s a fairly prominent lot as you enter Montserrat. It has good visibility,” Wegman said. So he and another partner, John Giordano, mentioned the real estate to Hal Brown, magazine owner and publisher, and the deal was struck.
“The timing really worked out perfectly where we had the right lot; it was the right time for Hal and for us to do this together,” Wegman said. HGC’s decorating affiliate will be responsible for the interior design. The company’s architecture group drew the plans. The house has 7,265 square feet under roof and 5,640 square feet under air conditioning.
“It works well with us because the product that is the Dream Home is what we do anyway,” Giordano said.
Proceeds from tour ticket sales will benefit a Wish with Wings, which makes wishes come true for children with life-threatening illnesses.
The company was started by Giordano, Rob Cocanower and Karl Hahnfeld — the HGC in the title. Within a year, HGC was building homes above the $1 million level. Wegman became a partner six years ago.
Dream Homes are different than a straight custom build because suppliers and trades come in as partners, and a builder may be working with people who are not the usual suppliers. But that process benefits the ultimate owner of the house, who gets value beyond the price tag.
“Everybody’s putting their best work forward, their best product forward because everybody is enjoying a lot of publicity from it,” Wegman said. “It’s not really a profit motive. It is showing what you can do. I think that is why they sell often very quickly, because people can walk in and see the value. Ultimately, you couldn’t build that house for that price.”
The partners say they are constantly on the lookout for new techniques and technologies that they can employ in their houses. But they also look at the cost-benefit of those cutting-edge ideas. An example is pre-fabrication, sometimes used in the framing of houses. “What we are looking for is, ‘Is the money worth the technology?’ and right now it doesn’t offset the cost enough for us to do that,” Giordano said. “It’s still less expensive to do it the traditional way. It’s unbelievable how fast those guys are.”
But if you really want a pre-fab house, they are your guys. “It can absolutely be done. If somebody wanted to do that, we can design the house, have everything pre-made and shipped in and then just put up on site,” Giordano said. Sears used to supply such kit homes in the early part of the 1900s, although on a much smaller scale than Giordano is talking about.
The willingness to do what the customer wishes is the strength of their company, Wegman and Giordano say, and they are focused on delivering the highest possible quality product at the lowest possible price and making sure that the customer is satisfied. That is a key to their success, they think.
“Now that the economy is back, everyone is a builder again,” Wegman said. “There are new signs popping up everywhere. But we were here during the downtimes, and that aspect is really what kept us going — standing behind the product and really making sure the customer was always taken care of.”
2014 Fort Worth, Texas Dream Home
4800 Estonia Court, Montserrat, Fort Worth
Benefiting a Wish with Wings
Tour Dates: Sept. 24 - Oct. 26 • Wed.-Sat.: 11 a.m. - 6p.m. • Sun.: noon-5 p.m.
Admission: $10; Free with a $20 subscription ($10 goes to the charity)
2014 DREAM HOME PARTNERS
Aaron Ornamental Iron Works
Ajax Glass & Mirror
DWR Contractors Inc.
Durango Doors of Fort Worth
Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery
HGC Residential Development
Interceramic Marble Collection
Interceramic Tile & Stone
J & S Air Inc.
New Leaf Foam
Overhead Garage Doors
Pierce Decorative Hardware and Plumbing
Sweeney Lumber Co.
Texas Custom Windows
Texas Designer Flooring
of Fort Worth
Texas Tile Roofing
By: Malcolm Mayhew