StoryBuilt, the developer which owns the property at the southwest corner of White Rock Trail and Walnut Hill Lane, is in throes of a financial meltdown, The Real Deal reports. The future of the company’s many real estate projects, including Goose at White Rock Valley, is uncertain.
The property immediately to the south, currently being developed by Robert Elliott Homes and formerly owned by Hollywood Overhead Door Co., is not affected.
StoryBuilt has furloughed employees and made leadership changes, according to the The Real Deal. Co-founder Ryan Diepenbrock has resigned from his management duties, and Chad Shepler has stepped down as board director and COO. An oversight committee, made up of stakeholders, shareholders and an independent director, has replaced the board.
In a letter to investors, co-founder Anthony Siela addressed the crisis.
“As you are aware, StoryBuilt has recently struggled with focused growth, reporting/financial controls and liquidity. This has materially affected our performance as a business and our partners,” Siela wrote.
StoryBuilt, founded in 2001 as PSW Real Estate, purchased the land in 2017 from Richardson ISD after the school district abandoned plans to build a school on the site to alleviate overcrowding at White Rock Elementary. Parents had voiced opposition to the proposed location, and WRE was instead expanded to accommodate up to 1,200 students. The developer crafted a plan to build 36 energy efficient houses featuring a contemporary design mixed with Tudor-inspired architecture.
StoryBuilt executives expressed enthusiasm for the project during a groundbreaking in July of 2021. They explained that each of their communities is named for a rescue animal or employee’s pet. Goose, a shiny black labrador mix, was found in an alley near Alamo Drafthouse and was present at the ceremony.
“With the ever-increasing demand for housing in the Dallas market, we are excited to be able to offer homes with exceptional schools, active community involvement, access to fabulous lifestyle amenities nearby, and smart and efficient design,” said Adam Stetson, president of the Dallas division, at the groundbreaking. “We are giving homeowners the lifestyle they want in the locations they desire.”
The first homes were projected to be completed by 2022, but after the streets were laid, the property sat idle.
Last year, StoryBuilt formed a $1 billion joint venture with Swiss private market investor Partners Group AG to develop 17 projects around the nation, including six in Austin. It’s unclear how the company’s staff reductions and restructuring will affect the White Rock Valley development.