(excerpt from the cover story in the May 2015 issue of Society Charlotte magazine – societycharlotte.com)
Over coffee at Leroy Fox, Howie Webb announced that Building Communities is making its maiden voyage in the Cotswold neighborhood. With 12 years of building homes in Charlotte on his resume, Webb, Co-owner of Ashland Custom Homes with Ed Riesmeyer, decided it was time to do more to give back to charitable organizations in our community. The two owners have a history of backing nonprofit causes, including the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, The Paula Takacs Foundation and Camp Sunshine. But, Webb said, “As we grow up, become adults and are fortunate enough to experience a taste of success in life, we feel that the responsibility to give back and lift others up grows as well. It is not optional. It is one of the reasons we are in business.”
It is the reason they are spearheading the Building Communities home tour as well. The tour, which takes place Saturday, May 9, from 10a.m.-4p.m., winds through four newly constructed or renovated luxury homes within five minutes of one another. Tourists will get a taste of the home styles, not to mention tastes of food from neighborhood restaurants, including Leroy Fox. The event will also feature an interior design showcase by Cotswold Marketplace.
Webb is making sure the experience runs deeper than the design: 100 percent of ticket sales will go to four nonprofits, with each represented by one of the four houses: Bee Mighty, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Charlotte Chapter, Friendship Trays and Charlotte Rescue Mission.
“I am looking forward to not only what impact we can make on May 9,” Webb said, “but the impact that we and the associated ripple effect can have on the Charlotte community five to ten years from now. I am constantly amazed and inspired by the generosity of the individuals and businesses in this community and we are just happy to do our part to make it a little better.”
Verbal tour, as told by Howie Webb
The Friendship Trays House.
“Before building this new home on a beautiful corner lot in Old Cotswold, we had to take down a small ranch home, which was previously occupied by a wonderful couple for nearly 60 years. Our hope was to create a home large enough to accommodate the needs of the incoming family, while still respecting the styles and tradition of the neighborhood. Saving as many trees as possible was also very important.”
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation House.
“This new construction home was built on a vacant lot for a young, growing family. As a custom builder, we really strive to focus each project reflecting the unique style and specific needs of each customer. The interior and exterior of this home feature unique touches, including sliding barn doors, a library and a rustic oak hardwood floor stained with oil. From the light fixtures, to the wallpaper, to the molding details—this house is definitely one of a kind, just like the family for whom it was built.”
The Bee Mighty House.
This house was extended upwards. “We tore down an existing one-car garage and added a new, two-car garage. Then we took off the entire roof and went up with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a large bonus room over the garage. We added almost 2,700 heated square feet on an entirely new second level. On the main floor, we added a new drop zone, rearranged a few of the remaining rooms to accommodate the new staircase and created a great space for entertaining with an open floor plan and a new kitchen.”
The Charlotte Rescue Mission House.
This house was expanded out. “We were brought in to create a new master suite on the main level, and update all of the existing bathrooms. Blending the old and the new can be challenging—between the un-level floors, unexpected structural issues, and trying to match old windows, moldings and door styles that are no longer manufactured. In the end, we were able to achieve a very smooth transition.”
Meet the Beneficiaries
“Because of generous donations and support, progress is being made everyday on new therapies for patients with cystic fibrosis and hope for a lifelong cure in the near future.”
–Luann Parker, volunteer for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
“The Charlotte Rescue Mission first strives to break the cycle of addiction, poverty and homelessness. The next most important step after that is to help the men and women transition out of dependency on community programs and transition into self-sufficiency.”
Holly Minter, Community Events Coordinator for Charlotte Rescue Mission
“Bee Mighty provides funding for medical therapy and equipment to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) graduates. Bee Mighty was established so that families can focus on each other and concentrate on the development of their child without the added stress of financial ruin.”
– Cameron Uher, Finance Chair for Bee Mighty
“For almost 40 years, Friendship Trays has served our community as a home-delivered meal program, delivering meals daily throughout Charlotte-Mecklenburg. Most meals are delivered by a corps of volunteers, 1,300+ strong.”
– Lucy Bush Carter, Executive Director for Friendship Trays