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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The collapse of the housing market led some developers to file for bankruptcy. Neighborhoods they were building were left unfinished. That is, until new investors can come along and breathe new life into the project.

Tidalwalk is a neighborhood on the Intracoastal Waterway in the southern end of New Hanover County. When the housing market crashed, its developer went bankrupt. So Tidalwak sat mostly empty. But now, there’s a flurry of activity here again.

“It’s absolutely essential for our recovery,” said Kyle Corkum, Managing Partner of L-Star, one of two firms, along with Mountain Capital, that joined forces to buy Tidalwalk. “We’ve gotta get these communities back on their feet. If you’re a homeowner that lives in there, in the case of Tidalwalk, there are two people that have houses there. Well it’s not a viable community if there’s only two out of 197.”

Tidalwalk’s investors say buying distressed property isn’t always that easy. You need to do a lot of research, and in most cases you need to pay for that property in cash.

“The only way they can be resurrected is you have to come in and make a big bet with cash and make huge financial invest and then implement a plan, aggressive plan to get these communities back on track,” Corkum said. “It’s not for the faint of heart.”

Realtors say when this happens, it’s a good sign for the housing market.

“They were able to come in, finish the amenities, begin building houses and offer houses at a less expensive price, so they’re more affordable,” realtor Ashley Garner said.

And in this case, builders are confident. They’re constructing several spec homes. Plus, the’ve already written three contracts.

“You’re now putting more people back to work. There are more people in construction jobs, more people selling appliances, carpet, roofing, right? So more jobs are being created,” Corkum said.

More jobs, more homes, more good news for the economy.

Local builder Craig Stevens, with Stevens Fine Homes, has also gone into several distressed neighborhoods and built homes. In fact, he says November was his best month in home sales since 2005.

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