The Whopper Developers
Despite town-wide opposition, the developers of the Weston Whopper continue to pursue their efforts to obtain a Comprehensive Permit to build the Whopper. Here is some background information about these developers which include Jonathan Buchman, a local Weston resident and owner of Banner Construction, and the Hanover Company, a huge privately held Texas Corporation.
The Hanover Company is headed by father/son Dartmouth alumnae, Murry (Chairman), Brandt (CEO), and Jeb (CFO) Bowden. Hanover’s local rep is David Hall (another Dartmouth alumnus) who lives in Milton, MA, far away from any impact from Hanover’s 40B projects. Hanover builds luxury apartment complexes throughout the U.S. including Massachusetts. In Massachusetts, however, Hanover has discovered that they can use the 40B statute to reap enormous profits they never thought possible. The following article lays out the strategy Hanover has used to push their projects through the permitting process despite local opposition:
Hanover often partners with a local representative (ie, Jonathon Buchman in Weston) in order to gain familiarity with the local permitting process and pave the way through the local hearings. After completing these massive projects, Hanover flips the buildings within a few years for enormous profits. Mr. Buchman’s claim that he will be a long-term “caretaker” for the Whopper is certainly just another whopper. For example, in Billerica Hanover parlayed the local developer’s $800,000 land purchase into $80million within a few years. Local officials in Billerica don’t understand why the town has not seen any benefit from these huge profits and the financial impact on the town’s residents has been devastating. As one Billerica resident put it:
Maryann Ardell can see the four-story complex from the kitchen window of her home on Kirk Road, where she has lived for 33 years. After the Villas were built, she said, her home’s value decreased, but the taxes she pays to the town have continued to climb. “My taxes have been going up, $220 to $300 a year, in the last couple of years,” she said. There’s something wrong here. Why should their gain be our loss?”
Hanover has built more than 15 huge 40B apartment projects in Massachusetts. It is impossible to determine their profit from these large projects because the Hanover Company is privately held. However, we do know that Hanover quickly sells many of these large 40B projects for huge sums of money. The publicly available information discloses the following facts:
- Hanover sold the Ridge at Blue Hills in 2010 for $40million.
- Hanover sold the Lodge at Stoughton in 2014 for $54.1million.
- Hanover sold Hanover Cambridge Park in 2020 for an undisclosed price.
- Hanover sold the Lodge at Foxborough for an undisclosed price.
- Hanover sold Hanover Westford Valley and Hanover Westford Hills in 2020 for an undisclosed price.
- Hanover sold Hanover at PineHills, a 220 unit non-40B luxury apartment building in Plymouth, for $72million reaping nearly $325,000 per apartment:
Hanover’s local representative, Jonathon Buchman, owns Banner Construction and has been building single-family luxury homes in Weston for many years. Apparently, Mr. Buchman’s efforts have paid off as the publicly available loan documentation which was posted on the Weston town website when the original Comprehensive Permit documents were filed in 2019 but have since been mysteriously removed, requires that Jonathan Buchman “shall have a minimum a net worth of $25,000,000 and a minimum liquidity of $7,500,000 at all times after injection of equity into the project.” Click here to see the full loan document from Belmont Savings Bank.
Weston has been very good to Jonathon Buchman. It’s unfortunate that Jonathan Buchman is continuing his efforts – despite intense opposition from town residents – to build an oversized apartment complex that will not only damage the environment and the downstream wetlands including Nonesuch Pond but will flood our streets with traffic, overburden our schools, town services, and town infrastructure and destroy the semi-rural character of Weston. If you would like to send a letter or email to Brandt Bowden, CEO of Hanover, David Hall, local Hanover rep, or Jonathon Buchman to let them know your thoughts about the Whopper, you can write to:
Chief Executive Officer
1780 S. Post Oak Lane
Houston, TX. 77056
David Hall: email@example.com
Jonathan Buchman: firstname.lastname@example.org