Another out-of-town homebuilder wants a piece of Richmond

What started as a request for advice from a local homebuilder has lured a Delaware-based builder to the Richmond market. Schell Brothers is preparing to start work locally, making its first expansion southward with the help of Shane Burnette, co-founder and former partner of Midlothian-based Perkinson Homes. Burnette, who is leading the local effort as division president, decided to join up with Schell Brothers after reaching out to the 14-year-old company, which he said last year totaled $209 million in sales and 351 closings. Discussions with partner Brian Perkinson and Schell Brothers president Chris Schell led to an offer to do business together, redirecting Schell Brothers’ compass to Richmond and away from Charleston, South Carolina, where the company was leaning toward expanding, to Richmond. Ultimately, Perkinson, a third-generation builder, decided to stick with the business that bears his family’s name, while Burnette accepted the offer, arranging for Perkinson to buy out his 50 percent stake of their company. “We didn’t mean for this to happen,” said Perkinson, who co-founded the company with Burnette in 2008. “It kind of happened by accident with us reaching out to them for mentorship.”

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