Victor International

Of all the standout qualities of Victor International – its focus on multi-generational living, low-density developments and sustainable communities, for instance – the company’s most defining quality is the thing that makes everything else possible – staying flexible. 

“We don’t have debt, so we don’t have that challenge on our projects,” Chairman David V. Johnson explains. “It keeps us entrepreneurial and it keeps us nimble, because we can make decisions, adapt quickly and make changes instantly. I can wake up at 3 a.m. and have an ‘a-ha’ moment and implement it at 8 a.m. It gives us the ability to adapt to the marketplace to meet the customers’ desires better than anyone else.” 

That mindset has guided the company over the past 30 years and 40 communities.  One of its flagship properties, developed more than 20 years ago, is Bay Harbor in Bay Harbor, Mich., a high-end luxury real estate  spread across 32 distinct neighborhoods situated on five miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. The development, which is a year-round residence for many and a global destination for others, encompasses a world-class hotel, conference center, marina, equestrian facility and golf course. Victor International has added to the development with the construction of 48 homeowner “toy boxes” – luxury storage buildings for large valuables such as car collections and antique boats. 

What sets Bay Harbor apart – and all of Victor International’s projects for that matter – is not just what was built there, but how it was built. Johnson’s commitment to being a good steward of the earth has guided his professional life, and each community comes from this unique perspective.

For instance, when he traveled to the British Virgin Islands to begin the Oil Nut Bay project, he had a vision to build it in harmony with the lush natural setting, rather than industrialize it. The low-density development will include only 88 sites spread across 300 acres, leaving 50 percent of the land as open space. All of the project’s social infrastructure will be completed by this December, and currently it is working on $50 million worth of residential projects. 

Made in Michigan

Low-density living is also a prime factor in three other Victor International developments under construction in Michigan. Johnson says the resurgence of the auto industry has created new demand in Michigan. Victor International has responded with three new developments, one of those being Turtle Lake in Bloomfield Hills Township. 

Turtle Lake was approved for 277 sites, but Victor International chose to develop only 107 single-family estate lots spread out over 256 acres of rolling topography in eight neighborhoods. Three of the neighborhoods are already sold out. Two other Michigan developments, Copper Wood and Parks of Stonewood, also have homes under construction. 

For each development, Victor International acts as the master developer. When working with homebuilders, it looks for a few key factors. 

“We look for builders that are going to take care of the customer,” Johnson says. “We look for companies that are going to follow the rules, run a clean construction site, be proactive in communication and that will take care of everything on the punch list. These things are crucial because they are essentially an extension of our brand, and if someone is buying into one of our communities, they expect that level of quality and communication that we provide. So we have to make sure it’s there with the homebuilders.” 

The company also has to make sure homebuilders buy into Victor International’s vision for each development. “Each development is totally unique, and it’s guided by these spectacular lands,” Johnson explains. “We are committed to doing low-density, environmentally conscious, in-harmony-with-the-land, multi-generational communities.” 


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