Modern Home Builder - Winter 2016 - Volume 2 - 22
Twin Oaks Construction
Twin Oaks in February will break ground on a $7.5 million home in the Murray Hill
Estate area of Scarsdale (rendering above). Other recent projects include a
home at 28 Garden Road in Scarsdale (below), to be completed in April.
the horizontal speculative land business was over. It was as if all
of the sudden the spigot was slammed shut, not even a gradual
slowing," he says. "I knew when one of our largest builder partners walked into my office in Virginia back in January of 2008 and
told me he was not closing on the 30 lots he had executed specific
performance contracts on that things were about to get really bad.
No one just walks away from $3 million of deposits in our business
without a fight." Fenton was also contemplating getting out of the
business in its entirety, as it was a huge emotional toll on losing a
development he had poured his heart and soul into.
With large-scale residential developments no longer an option
for Fenton mainly because there were no financial markets for such
projects, several of his industry colleagues and past clients suggested he enter a slightly different line of business. "Clients were
calling me and suggesting I start a custom homebuilding company,"
he says. "I would say, 'Are you kidding me? We are in the worst real
www.mhb-magazine.com Winter 2016 Volume 2
estate market collapse in the history of this country and I should do
what? How is this going to work?'"
But after giving the idea some further thought and the constant
convincing from his wife Pamela, Fenton, who had already established contacts within New York's Westchester County, established
Twin Oaks Construction in 2009. "I started the company in the
basement of my home," he says. "At first, I was working 16- to 18hour days, seven days a week to get off the ground.
"In the mornings it was nuts, Pamela was coming down the
stairs in her robe opening the door for our workers as she was
getting breakfast ready for our kids heading off to school," Fenton
recalls. "Literally for two years my entire basement housed five
people full time - we had no privacy and my wife was a trooper
through it all while at the same time working the business with
me and raising our kids. Twin Oaks would not be where we are at
today without my wife."