Macks, Hill go own ways

Homebuilders were merged only one year

`Amicable' parting

February 13, 1999|By Robert Nusgart | Robert Nusgart,SUN STAFF

In what was described as an "amicable" parting, the marriage between two well-known independent homebuilders, operating primarily in Baltimore and Carroll counties, has come to an end just a year after it was formed.

Lawrence M. Macks and Martin K. P. Hill, principals of Masonry Macks Homes Inc., have gone their separate ways after merging the new-homes divisions of their companies in February last year. Hill purchased Macks' financial interest in the company, effective Jan. 1. Macks, who acted as chairman, will continue to pursue land development through his Owings Mills-based Macks and Macks Inc.

Telephone calls to Hill, the largest private builder in Carroll County before the merger, were not returned.

Macks was out of town and unavailable for comment, but Josh Fidler, vice president for Macks and Macks Inc. and a brother-in-law of Macks, confirmed the transaction.

The purchase price of the buyout was not disclosed.

"Marty bought out our interest, and we are satisfied that the direction of the company [and the personnel] are well in place," said Fidler. "It was a relatively speedy and painless decision-making process. It was very amicable.

"The personnel that we brought to the table are still there. The only change is at the highest level. We didn't feel like we were adding value to the combined entity."

The companies merged their new-homes divisions as a way to bolster sales and defend against growing competition from national builders who account for one of every four new homes built in the Baltimore market. Both family groups maintained separate land-development enterprises.

"We are going to continue to sell lots to Masonry Macks Homes, and they are going to continue to utilize our personnel in their communities that we were both developing," said Fidler. He added that Hill, in a separate agreement, will continue to purchase developed lots from Macks and Macks.

Fidler said Masonry Macks contracted to build 261 homes last year in 13 communities in Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick and York (Pa.) counties.

According to statistics from Meyers Housing Data Reports, a Washington firm that tracks new-home sales, Masonry Macks was the 14th-largest homebuilder in the Baltimore area through September.

Fidler said the Macks name will remain a part of Masonry Macks' name for the "foreseeable future," and that there are no plans for Macks and Macks to re-establish a new-homes division.

Pub Date: 2/13/99

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