Greed screed response

Tom DiGiovanni is co-owner of Heritage Partners development company, creators of the Doe Mill Neighborhood project

I am writing you following the publication of Juanita Sumner’s Guest comment ["Housing crises is fueled by greed,” May 8]. As you know, she made a couple statements about our Doe Mill Neighborhood project. “Tom DiGiovanni’s Doe Mill Neighborhood started at $300,000 last year and has climbed to $380,000. A Heritage Partners designer named Peter told me, ‘That’s what people are buying.'”

I have no idea what Juanita Sumner is talking about (I do not know her), and having thought about it can only conclude that she completely made it up!

I’m not sure why she wrote what she did, but here are the facts. Our pricing started at $190,000 last year, not $300,000. Current prices for standard homes (with rear garage) range from $197,500 to $259,500. We have recently offered some homes in a common courtyard setup (smaller lot, no garage, parking spaces in the alley) for $162,500 to $187,500. The offering was immediately sold; as we suspected, there are many people who are willing to trade a garage for a lower price.

Many of our buyers have opted for a “carriage house/granny flat” over the garage for an additional $45,000. In many cases, this has allowed them to buy the house because the rent from the 535-square-foot studio helps them pay the mortgage.

On the upper end, last year we sold a total of three building lots to two small custom builders, who built much larger custom homes (subject to design review by us) in the $325,000 range. We have discontinued selling to these builders because in general we had to hold their hands too much in order for them to understand our program for the neighborhood, etc. There is absolutely nothing being offered in our project for $380,000, not even close!

Oh, and by the way, I have never employed anyone named Peter nor had a consultant named Peter working on a Chico project.

The News & Review should not be pouring this sort of drivel onto its pages. At the very least, someone needs to check the easily checked facts on a Guest column of this sort. We are very proud of Doe Mill and believe that we are achieving something just by offering such a broad range of housing types and prices. I guess for some folks every developer is a greedy developer, but you guys should know better.

This is not to say that housing affordability is not a serious issue requiring equally serious and clear discussions among many parties in the community. Let the discussion begin in earnest, but let’s have in a tone that is more likely to bring about real solutions.

As for Doe Mill, we believe that we are achieving something just by offering a broader range of housing types and prices. Readers can check for themselves at