A Brooklyn homebuilder devoted to making each of its townhouses unique is bringing that philosophy and its skills to a new market, but not necessarily where you might think.
The Brooklyn Home Company, known for reimaging many of Brooklyn’s historic properties, has expanded to a new market — Jackson, Wyoming — by launching The Jackson Home Company, which is building modern townhomes just minutes from the world-famous ski resorts in Jackson Hole. The connection is not as odd as one might think.
“Our family is obsessed with the outdoors and the West,” said Bill Caleo, co-founder of Brooklyn Home Company. “After spending so much time in Jackson, we saw that home prices near the resort could be $3,000 per square foot. But a 15-minute drive from Jackson doesn’t feel like a resort at all.”
Instead, visitors find a Western downtown complete with cowboy bars and residents who work in the area, most of whom live in smaller houses built close together.
“What we found as Brooklyn brownstone people who want to be in the center of everything there weren’t any homes that suited us,” he said.
Caleo saw that there was a real opportunity for new homes to be built in the $1,000 per square foot range and began looking for local partners. Through a connection with Sotheby’s (the broker selling the homes), Caleo has partnered with locally-based New West Building Company, which provides design-build, general contracting services, construction management, entitlement and proforma analysis for residential and commercial projects throughout Jackson.
“I loved their quality,” he said.
The team’s first set of 17 homes to hit the market are the Snow King Village Townhomes in East Jackson, located in the heart of the town in close proximity to the Town Square, dining, retail, Snow King resort, hiking and mountain biking trails. Designed by local architect Farmer Payne, the homes boast modern architecture, smart home features and refined interior spaces with wide-plank white oak flooring throughout. The floors boast radiant heat throughout the home.
Many of the living areas feature balconies offering indoor-outdoor living. All the of the bedrooms include en suite bathrooms and feature expansive windows and high ceilings. The large master bedrooms have large balconies and walk-in closets. All the master bathrooms have walk-in showers, honed Carrera subway tiles, freestanding bathtubs and double vanities. Large gourmet kitchens feature Viking and Bosch professional grade appliances, as well as white Caesarstone countertops. Each model has either a two- or three-car garage and a separate walk-out basement apartment for potential rental income.
Continuing their Brooklyn traditions, the team has found local artists to create custom art for each home — it’s what saved Brooklyn Home Company shortly after it was founded. The Caleo family, including Caleo’s artist brother-in-law Fitzhugh Karol, had started the firm to renovate Brooklyn townhomes in 2006. Their timing turned out to be less than spectacular, with the Great Recession underway.
“The first house we sold was put on the market the week after Lehman Brothers collapsed,” Caleo said. “I thought I was doomed.”
Caleo found some reclaimed wood and Karol created a barn door for one of the rooms, at the time a design novelty. A French customer saw the door and offered full asking price.
“She literally saved my life,” Caleo said.
Since then, Karol has created a unique piece of art for each home, which includes locations in Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, Clinton Hill and Dumbo.
In many ways, Jackson reminds Caleo of Brooklyn some 15 years ago.
“It all goes back to family, loving the people and wanting to spend more time in a place that is beautiful but with zero inventory,” Caleo said.
Their local partners are handling the bulk of the construction oversight. The townhomes will range in price from about $2.9 million to $6.5 million. And while Brooklyn Home Company also is working on a hotel project in the Finger Lakes, it’s not looking for any other new markets for now.
“My girlfriend would kill me if I looked at any new avenues right now,” he said. “We’re happy with what we have.”