Manhattan-based architect Drew Lang has alternated between design and small development projects, such as renovating and flipping single-family houses, since founding his studio in 2003. Besides stabilizing his company’s overall revenue, the diversified-business model turns up new opportunities.
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Interacting with design clients, Lang sensed both a hunger for custom weekend homes and a worry that commissioning one would take too much time. In 2011, when the architect discovered 131 forested acres for sale about two hours north of New York by car, he realized he could unlock that latent demand with an alternative to the traditional subdivision.
For his firm’s first multi-residence venture—dubbed Hudson Woods and launched without brokers, via social media, local partnerships, and word-of-mouth in 2014—Lang and his team devised a modern vernacular, designing and building a 2,300-square-foot model house, from which prospective homeowners could choose between two- or three-bedroom versions to be constructed on one of 26 lots. The architect/developer offered 30 possible upgrades for each house, and sited purchased units sensitively, in order to meet market desire for a unique property.
Hudson Woods’s scale allowed Lang to realize each residence at about half the expense of a one-off. Hudson Woods’s base pricing increased five times over the course of 26 sales and three years. The most expensive house—a three-bedroom model with multiple upgrades that included outbuildings—sold for $2.5 million toward the end of this period. Lang and his partners’ initial $1.8 million investment covered the land purchase, construction of the model house, Phase 1 infrastructure improvements, and early marketing. Each house thereafter cost an average of $885,000 to build; the completed development returned the partners’ equity more than twice over. Lang also draws a line from Hudson Woods to 12 new projects totaling $350 million in construction-cost value, and—discovering yet another business to run alongside his studio—he has fielded 200 inquiries to license the project’s design.
285 West Broadway, Suite 300
New York, NY 10013
212 - 233 - 9187
Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Structural: Luke Amey
Mechanical & Plumbing design build: Roberto Plumbing & Heating, Inc. Woodstock, NY
Development: LANG Development
Brand & Marketing: Sanderson
Photography: Ty Cole
Deborah DeGraffenreid, Rikki Snyder, Ty Cole, Propellerheads Aerial Photography
100,250 square feet
Manufacturer of any structural components unique to this project:
Standard wood framing
Architectural metal: Andrew Becker Design
Rainscreen: Cedar Siding w/ Moore Arborcoat Semi Transparent Stain; Cedartone
Wood flooring: Allegheny Mountain Hardwood
Metal: Standing Seam : Galvalume Standing Seam Metal Roof by S.A.P. Exteriors, Inc.
Wood frame: ECOSUPPLY Bildau & Bussman Double Glazed Wood Windows
Glass: ECOSUPPLY Bildau & Bussman Double Glazed Wood Windows
Entrances: ECOSUPPLY Bildau & Bussman Double Glazed Wood Windows
Locksets: Sun Valley Bronze
Closers: Sun Valley Bronze
Pulls: Sun Valley Bronze from Brandino Brass Co.
Other special hardware: dutch door: Sun Valley Bronze | garage barn door : Rustica Hardware & Sun Valley Bronze
Cabinetwork and custom woodwork:
Paints and stains: Paint : Benjamin Moore Flat OC-13
Paneling: t&g white oak plank : Allegheny Mountain Hardwood
Special surfacing: Poured Concrete Sink : Trueform Concrete, Stormy Black Soap Stone Counter top slab : M.Teixeira Soapstone
Floor and wall tile: Ceramic tile : Heath tile | stone tile : Walker Zanger
Carpet: Laura Wool Rug by Cloak Rugs
Custom furniture Kitchen Island and Pantry, etc…: Samuel Moyer
Chairs: Michael Robbins, D’Apastrophe, Carl Hansen & Son, Fern
Tables: Dzierlenga F+U
Other furniture: Benson Sofa, Lo Bed Frame from Modern Link | closet system 100 mile | oculus mirror by Materia Designs | Modular Drawers by USM Haller
Interior ambient lighting: Allied Maker, Workstead
Stainless steel sink : Kohler
Trinsic Faucet w/ Handspray : Delta
Vero Handrinse Basin : Duravit
Metris S Single handle Faucet : Hansgrohe
Cimarron Toilet : Kohler
Clio Fittings & 8” Round Shower head : Hudon Reed
Energy management or building automation system: Nest System
Wood Stove: Wittus Stoves