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A blog about the economy and the Sacramento-area real estate market.

July 14, 2008
There is opportunity when banks have troubles
With banks going down and struggling with their bad construction and land developmentTHC-John.jpg loans, long-time Sacramento development industry rep John Hodgson is among those seeing opportunity knocking. His new venture, RCH Group, is finding a niche advising and partnering with banks that have taken back builders' land and partially built subdivisions.

I had a cup of coffee with him recently. He said RCH is a new blend of his local Hodgson Co., which most recently guided development of Elk Grove's 1,900-acre Laguna Ridge project, and the Milwaukee-based Towne Group, also known as Zilber Ltd.
The Towne Group is the umbrella organization for Towne Investments, Homes by Towne, Towne Consulting and now, RCH.

Hodgson, managing principal at RCH, said the new entity will do it all for banks sitting on repossessed land: land entitlement, planning, consulting and home building. It can also tap Towne's deep pockets to buy it outright or get into a partnership.

Hodgson, who chairs the Sacramento district council of the Urban Land Institute, a research arm of the development industry, also sees promise in guiding builders through California's unfolding global warming rules.
"Nobody has the slightest idea what that means," he said. But he's sure of one thing about going green. It's a "megatrend."

Now this is really inside baseball, but the new venture also recently snagged a pair of big names in the capital's development scene. RCH has tapped, for one, Ardie Zahedani, well known in the region's city halls as political director and lobbyist for the North State Building Industry Association. And it's also hired Jeff Ray, a planner with the Irvine-based development giant SunCal Cos.

 Image: The Hodgson Co.

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