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Ask Our Experts; A Look Into The Team

Name: Edward Zigarowicz III

Nickname: Ed Z

Title: Land Manager

November of this year marks Ed’s fifth year with Rolwes Company. He has worked in new home construction for approximately 20 years in nearly every capacity over this time. While he is not a native St. Louisian, Ed and his family have been in this area for the past 13 years.

As Land Manager, Ed is responsible for acquiring property, seeing it through the entitlement process and developing it into a new Rolwes Community. Rolwes Company opens roughly 2-3 new communities each year, so on any given day, Ed may be working on negotiating contracts, attending City meetings or walking through sites with contractors.

How does Rolwes Company find new ground?

According to Ed, new land opportunities come about in several different ways. Due to Rolwes Company’s outstanding reputation as quality homebuilder in St. Louis, people that are looking to sell their ground will often reach out and inform us of their intentions. Ed will meet with the landowner, walk their property and if it looks like a good opportunity, he will begin working with the owner to purchase the property.

Another way that Rolwes Company obtains new ground is through industry contacts. Again, due to our great reputation, the people we work with will point us towards grounds that can be purchased. Often times, surveyors, engineers, real estate professionals, site contractors, trade partners, and even our customers bring us new opportunities. These are often some of the very best leads that we come across.

A third source of new land comes from good old fashioned hard work and a little luck. Ed will drive areas that Rolwes Company would like to build a new home community in and look for larger parcels. He will start knocking on doors and sending letters to property owners. Even if that person isn’t looking to sell their ground today, they may know someone who is, or they may choose to sell in the future.

How does Rolwes Company decide what type of floorplans will be built in a new community?

Ed works closely with the Owner, Greg Rolwes, and our Sales Manager, Chrissy Pratt, to determine what series of homes will be built in a new home community. As a team, they review the area and the surrounding homes in St. Louis styles and prices. This is coupled with hard data from recent sales in the area to help determine floorplans would best fit the new community.

While each market is unique, within those markets there are a lot of consistencies. Homebuilders cannot create a market, they can only serve in it. So, the existing home sizes and values in the area are truly the best indicator of what the public is demanding.

Once a piece ground is purchased, what type of approval process needs to happen with the municipality?

While each and every city or county is different, Ed states that there are a few basic commonalities in the approval process for new home construction. First, if the property does not have the desired residential zoning, Ed would need to work with the municipality to obtain new zoning that will allow for the community to be built. This entails an examination by the municipality and our design engineer to see if the new zoning makes sense. The municipality will look at the zoning on the surrounding properties to see if the new zoning would be consistent with the area. They will also look at their Comprehensive Master Plan of the community to determine if the new zoning would be in line with that document. For example, if the parcel is currently zoned for agricultural use, but it is surrounded by single family homes, and the area is designated for residential growth in the Plan, changing that zoning to a residential classification would make sense for the municipality.

The citizens of the municipality also get to have a say in the rezoning process. A public hearing is held in front of the governing board of the municipality, where Ed presents the desired rezoning, providing reasoning as to why the rezoning should occur. At this hearing, the public is allowed to ask questions and voice their support or disproval of the rezoning. The board then votes on whether or not to allow the rezoning to proceed.

After the project is zoned, Ed works with our chosen engineering firm to create the site development plans. These plans are reviewed by the municipality, fire district, highway department, and all utilities. Each group provides input on the plans and they are fine-tuned, taking into account the requirements of the municipality. Once each group is satisfied with the plans, they sign off and the plans are approved.

Ed then pays for all of the permits and posts any necessary escrows to begin developing the property into a thriving new community.

Will Rolwes Company build a home on my property?

Many people own properties that are not in a typical residential neighborhood. For these customers, St. Louis homebuilder, Rowles Company, offer’s an off-site program that we call “Your Land, Our Plan.” Rolwes makes building a home on their property as convenient as building a home in one of our own new home communities. The customer chooses the Rolwes floorplan that best fits their needs along with all of the color and finish options that we offer. And we handle the rest.

One of the tasks that Ed is charged with is working closely with our off-site customers. He meets with these buyers at their lot and discusses how they would like to see the house situated on the lot. Ed will visit with the municipality and the utility providers to gain an understanding of what it will take to build the new home and get all services up and running.

Additionally, Rolwes Company handles all of the construction financing for the home. This eliminates the need for the customer to obtain a construction loan and deal with the arduous inspection and disbursement process that is required with that type of loan.

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