Construction crews work to finish up the remaining eight homes in StoryBuilt's Lucy development on May 6 after Los Angeles-based receiver StoryBuilt decided to restart construction efforts. CODY BAIRD

Austin Business Journal reports, "Construction is picking back up on some projects left incomplete by embattled real estate firm StoryBuilt.

Los Angeles-based Stapleton Group, which was appointed as StoryBuilt's receiver last summer to fix its finances, has resumed construction on some single-family homes in StoryBuilt's $2 billion development pipeline that's up for sale, according to an April 29 report. The goal is to maximize the sale value of the projects. Additionally, an East Austin development site is close to being sold in a deal expected to yield “several million dollars," according to the report.

Stapleton Group "plans to complete the sale of the remaining real estate assets, terminate all employees, complete the construction and sale of the remaining single-family homes where possible," according to the report.

Neither StoryBuilt nor Stapleton Group responded to requests for comment.

At least two StoryBuilt projects will pick back up in Austin. Those developments are East Austin’s Lucy, a 27-home neighborhood along Sarabeth Way, and South Austin’s North Bluff, an 88-single-family and 12-townhome development off East William Cannon Drive, according to StoryBuilt’s website. Lucy has eight homes to finish, and North Bluff has 12, according to the report.

Renewed construction efforts have resulted in several StoryBuilt projects advancing toward completion across the company’s entire portfolio. According to the report, the receiver’s efforts in February and March resulted in 15 homes obtaining permanent power. Additionally, there were three home closings in March with at least four more in April.


The receiver is close to selling at least one of StoryBuilt’s assets: East Austin’s Charley development.

Plans for Charley called for over 100 single-family homes to rise off of Webberville Road south of East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, but the reality of the project is much different. The Charley property is 11.5 acres of wooded, undeveloped land most recently appraised at $5.3 million for tax purposes, according to Travis Central Appraisal District.

Stapleton Group began receiving bids for the Charley property in early 2024 and filed a sale motion on March 4. On March 19, the group received and accepted an overbid. The identity of the bidder and size of the bid is unknown, but it is expected to yield “several million dollars to the estate.”

The property has not yet changed hands, according to property records.

The receivership

It could be several years before StoryBuilt is out of its current situation, as Stapleton Group is only in the first phase of shoring up the infill housing developer’s finances.

StoryBuilt, which operates legally as PSW Real Estate LLC, rose to prominence in the past decade developing dense housing communities around town. It furloughed much of its staff last summer and then laid dozens of employees off, all while fending off lawsuits from investors and condo owners. Stapleton Group in August was appointed to serve as receiver by the U.S. District Court of Travis County to fix the developer’s finances, and StoryBuilt voluntarily entered into the receivership.

For the first phase, the receiver intends to complete the sale of the remaining real estate assets, terminate all employees, finish up the construction and sale of single-family homes where it can, provide a final forensic report and recommend a distribution plan.

StoryBuilt is down to 13 employees, according to the report. Of them, seven are salaried employees paid by the receiver, two are independent contractors working minimal hours and six are salaried employees paid by a third party.

Stapleton is winding down the first phase, according to the report.

Phase two will consist of pursuing claims, reviewing claims filed by creditors and investors, monitoring joint venture projects and collecting and distributing cash, according to the distribution plan.

As far as the joint ventures go, StoryBuilt has an interest in 15 across three states. Stapleton Group noted two main options for maximizing those investments: hold the minority shares through project completion, or negotiate the sale of StoryBuilt’s interest to either a joint venture partner or a third party."


Source: Austin Business Journal

Written by: Cody Baird

Published: May 6, 2024


Posted by Grossman & Jones Group on


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