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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.

Comment on this Story

  • SurfCityTom

    of capitalism at work. The Investors inject capital, money, into the property. If successful, the property values rise and they reap a profit on their investment. If their business plan fails, they lose their investment.

    This is part of the recovery in real estate values.

  • The LMC Group based out of Wilmington NC is the Premier Real Estate Commercial Brokerage and Development company poised for this business model. They are The Leaders in SE NC for these types of transactions and have placed over 800 lots from N Myrtle to New Bern in 2010-2011 for both banks and distressed developers. Realigning and restructuring the financing on these projects is imperative to success of these complex transactions. The LMC Group has the expertise including local, and regional relationships to provide solutions for broken residential and commercial real estate projects. I am somewhat surprised they were not mentioned in this article….

  • SurfCityTom

    I can not attest to the numbers, but they have had a very positive impact in Surf City and Holly Ridge.

    Capitalism at work.

  • Barbara

    Hello, I think this is truly remarkable given today’s real estate environment. I am very aware of a company by the name of The LMC Group that has restructured several communities in our area and jump started construction. This has really helped our business by providing working contractors back into our shop that we have not seen due to the poor economy. My hats off to these innovative companies trying to re-ignite the construction industry that has hit our area so hard.

  • Eileen

    Why isn’t anyone discussing the homeowners who are being hurt by the builder coming into a neighborhood and significantly lowering home values by building cookie cutter tract homes that destroy the vision of the community? This is what is happening in some of these neighborhoods. Look at what happened to Dogwood Lakes. There are a few beautiful custom homes in there. Then Steven’s came in and built out the entire neighborhood with much lower end tract homes on slabs. What do you think that did to the existing homes ? Now they are trying to do this to Majestic Oaks where there are approx. 24 homes that stand to loose value. Trust me the homeowners are much better off with out these tract homes coming in. Why can’t they at least attempt to built a unique neighborhood that will be mutually beneficial to all ? The homeowners have been pleading with the developer to help, but so far it seems they don’t care. As long as they get a quick profit off of the lots for their investors, it doesn’t matter if the middle class homeowner gets screwed!


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