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Virginia Homes sold to Texas design build firm / September 28, 2016
R.T. “Tommy” Arnold has sold his Boydton-based modular home company, Virginia Homes Manufacturing Corporation, to Texas-based STACKit Design-Build.

The sale, which was first announced by STACKit in June, brings an end to Arnold’s nearly 50 years in the modular home industry, during which his company designed, built and delivered more than 17,000 homes throughout the east coast of the United States.

The new company will be known as Virginia Homes Building Systems.

For the past three months, representatives from both companies were quietly working together to expand production and prepare for a smooth transition — one that includes keeping current Virginia Homes president Marvin Thomas on for at least the next 60 days.

Employees received formal notice of the sale Sept. 21, along with assurances that the current staff at Virginia Homes Manufacturing Corporation would be retained.

Angie Kellett, who heads Mecklenburg County’s Economic Development office, said that even though her office was not involved with the acquisition, she was pleased that this large local employer would continue its operations.

Kellett also said she has heard, but cannot confirm, that the company plans to expand its current staff, hiring additional skilled construction workers.

Her understanding of these plans was confirmed by STACKit’s senior vice president and principal shareholder Russell Hruska.

In June, when the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding, Hruska was quoted in an industry publication saying, “As part of the sale, additional working capital will be used to expand production. We anticipate hiring a number of additional skilled personnel from recently idled facilities to propel the growth.”

Innovative Building Supplies, the parent company of Franklin County-based modular home builder Excel Homes of Virginia also known as Mod-U-Kraf Homes, closed its doors laying off around 150 workers in May of this year. Since then, seven of its former employees have been hired into positions with Virginia Homes, among them former Excel General operations manager Dan Hobbs, Excel’s head of design and engineering, an experienced draftsman and four sales people.

When the owners of STACKit first reached out to Kellett, while they were looking into the purchase of Virginia Homes, Kellett said she could tell, “they were ready to move forward.”

Principal shareholders in STACKit Design-Build are the husband and wife design team Russell and Rame Hruska, who are also founders of a Houston residential and commercial design firm, Intexure Architects. Their firm is known for designing and building small urban homes as well as high-end residences with are energy efficient and LEED certified.

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a rating system devised by the United States Green Building Council that promotes the design and construction of environmentally friendly buildings.

Hobbs is taking over as CEO of the new Virginia Homes.

In the same press release that announced the memorandum of understanding, he praised both Arnold and Thomas for their vision and work promoting of the company and its product throughout the mid-Atlantic region. “Mr. Arnold has established a long history of producing excellent homes, and we plan to continue and build upon that foundation.

“In addition, Marvin Thomas has done an exceptional job of stabilizing the company and attracting new business from builders in the mid-Atlantic region.”

As for the future of Virginia Homes, Hobbs said there are plans to add new technology to the current plant giving them the ability to produce wider modules, and use steel wall panel systems in their construction.

He and the staff at Virginia Homes are also looking to expand the company’s offerings of available homes, including construction of high-end custom homes.

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