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Old 04-29-2015, 06:37 PM
 
2 posts, read 4,112 times
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Thanks everyone for your thoughtful and insightful responses!
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Old 05-12-2015, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Southport
4,639 posts, read 4,811,900 times
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Update on a lawsuit against Mark Saunders:

Brunswick landowners re-file lawsuit against developer | StarNewsOnline.com
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Old 05-13-2015, 05:33 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,255 posts, read 19,786,471 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinadawg2 View Post
I lifted a quote for the Star-New about which plantations are affected since newpaper links have a short lifespan: "Property owners covered in the lawsuit own 62 total lots in the communities of Ocean Isle Palms, Ocean Ridge, Rivers Edge Plantation and Seawatch."
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Old 05-13-2015, 06:36 AM
 
152 posts, read 183,556 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenage1 View Post
I lifted a quote for the Star-New about which plantations are affected since newpaper links have a short lifespan: "Property owners covered in the lawsuit own 62 total lots in the communities of Ocean Isle Palms, Ocean Ridge, Rivers Edge Plantation and Seawatch."

Question, is Saunders the developer of all the above plantations including Ocean Ridge? All the lots at Rivers Edge are sold, FWIW.
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Old 05-13-2015, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,255 posts, read 19,786,471 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Purple 2 View Post
Question, is Saunders the developer of all the above plantations including Ocean Ridge? All the lots at Rivers Edge are sold, FWIW.
I think the suit charges that he conspired to inflate the prices of lots at these plantations, not neccessarily that he was the developer. I am not sure the plaintiffs can prove they suffered harm.
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Old 05-13-2015, 09:39 AM
 
15 posts, read 17,245 times
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That's really a shame. I'm sorry to hear of this. I hope anyone affected comes out on top.
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Old 07-27-2015, 11:34 AM
 
43 posts, read 60,624 times
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Default Sea watch

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffBinder View Post
I currently own a small lot in Brunswick county (Seawatch). Luckily, it was one of the first lots built, so it has all of the utilities available. Wondering if I should build on the lot, or cut my losses, sell the lot "for a song" and purchase an existing house. Thoughts?
We just returned from Sea Watch a few days ago. We also own a lot there. There was a previous post that said the place was overgrown and signs are faded,etc. that's not what we saw. SeaWatch has about 15-20 homes built which are really beautiful. The grounds are well kept as is the Kayak center. We went inside and its well taken care of. They put in a covered pavilion with picnic tables - which is far cry from the amenities center, but is something.
We spoke with a couple of the neighbors and they have an activities committee which sounds like they do some nice stuff. The homeowners we spoke with are happy to be there. Are they happy with Mark Saunders not making good on the amenities? No, but they're making the best of it. My understanding is the developer still owns the property to the beach club and Bank of America and its trustees has until August 15th or so to make good on the infrastructure. The bridge to connect the community still needs to built as well. A Lowes supermarket is being build nearby. Also, when we stop at the sales building the staff is very welcoming. They don't need to be as were not looking to buy anything. They are also always willing to answer our questions and let us vent. We are in the same boat as to build or not, but really still want to live there. I am writing this because although Sea Watch is lacking, and may never be what we hoped, it still is a beautiful location and I want people to know that. Mark Saunders hasn't walked away from Sea Watch, as far as I know,so maybe things will come about slowly? Who knows? I would suggest you go and see what's going on for yourself and then decide.
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Old 07-27-2015, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
132 posts, read 159,420 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patt View Post
My understanding is the developer still owns the property to the beach club and Bank of America and its trustees has until August 15th or so to make good on the infrastructure.
Do you have any specific info on the beach club? Is it still a potential go?
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Old 07-27-2015, 09:01 PM
 
2,784 posts, read 7,334,169 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfkidd View Post
Do you have any specific info on the beach club? Is it still a potential go?
Some of the properties in question have been purchased by an Austraiian Developer, Drapac Group.

Australian company thinks Brunswick County

They have purchased the OIB lot (the beach house lot) in this transaction. The mayor of OIB wants that lot for a park, the Drapac Group plans to keep it.
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Old 11-16-2015, 07:36 PM
 
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On November 14, 2015 I attended ( along with 2-3 dozen other owners ) the owners meeting which was held in the Clubhouse in Seawatch. I'd say Kayak Center, but it's dubious whether or not kayaks will ever be stored there or that kayaks will launch from there. I say this because P.O.A. president Boodro repeatedly stated that there currently existed no plans to move forward in either of those directions because there were questions of liability.( More research would have to be done.) An owner asked if her kayak could just be stored in the building originally intended to store kayaks so she wouldn't have to store it off site and brought it to her attention that the same questions were asked at the 2014 meeting but that no response was ever received from her or Mr. Saunders. "There might be a liability issue," was President Boodro's response. And did you know that the Clubhouse is not "owned" by the P.O.A./property owners, but instead is "leased" for $0.00 to the P.O.A. by Mr. Saunders or a company under his sole control ? (That information was shared by the P.O.A. president as a report was being given about possibly buying deck furniture for the clubhouse.)The question then was asked as to whether Mr. Saunders could use the structure as collateral on some other endeavor and potentially lose control of it. A definitive answer was not provided.

President Boodro seemed excited to share three threads of information. First, Mr. Saunders remains committed to completing infrastructure at some future, undetermined time;preliminary engineering plans to provide water/sewer/and/or pumping station to the Las Brisas properties within Seawatch that Mr. Saunders holds on the ICW is all but compete, and if/when permits are granted for the work, then once completed, the sales office will be able to market HIS properties.(Currently the sales office is handling only resales of owner properties trying to bail out of Seawatch and the resales office/staff is said to have sold 18 such properties thus far 2015 (as to what the average resale price was remains a mystery); and third, bond monies released by Brunswick County to begin on selected infrastructure projects within Phase 6 of Seawatch( which is the property immediately behind the sales office ) is now scheduled to begin in February 2016 after being postponed by the county in August 2015. There was no mention of exactly what roads/work might be completed, but it was stated that only the county could answer what work beyond any actually started in phase 6 might be forthcoming. But certainly the idea of having the internal bridge, swimming pool, Oak Island Clubhouse or other worthwhile amenity was not on the radar screen to begin at any time in the foreseeable future. Oh yeah, one more bit of news...president Boodro shared with those in attendance that it looked as though Mr. Sanders should win a current lawsuit against him/his company in which he/it stands to lose the Oak Island pool/Clubhouse property to a bank. ( I'm not sure whether the possible forfeiture of the Oak Island property is because it was used as collateral on another failed project or that he used it to borrow against for some other purpose. She didn't really go into any detail. Perhaps a clarification will be printed in the meeting's minutes for owners' review who couldn't attend the meeting.

A series of committee reports were given, though two of the committee chairpersons were absent and their reports were simply read by others. My overall thoughts at the time were 1.) the Activities and Welcome Committee IS working hard to provide community-based experiences that bring people together and make the best of a most unfortunate turn of events;2.) that the largest portion of the annual budget is allotted to Contract Landscape Maintenance and Landscaping/Bedding Mulch (over $250,000 out of a $704,000 annual budget), AND that THAT committee chairperson IS working diligently to use the funds to maintain the attractive nature of the paved avenues; and lastly, that avenues of communication between the property owners and Mr. Saunders are nonexistent, and it is not much more meaningful between owners, collectively, and The P.O.A. president. It seemed to me to be a "divide and conquer approach to keeping property owner concerns from snowballing and gaining momentum...case in point, during the meeting some owners asked if the new website would contain a contact directory of all the property owners. The answer was an emphatic " No" with the rational being centered on some potential liability to the P.O.A. because of what might be communicated between/among owners??? Didn't make sense to me. Rather it appeared to me again to be an effort to keep owners apart. That's just my thinking. Of course, owners can certainly join the "Nextdoor.com" community on line for free which would allow information to be shared among property owners without being a part of the Seawatch technology network. And yes, there is the risk that someone might write something which is offensive to another party. (One can Google "Nextdoor" and learn what the purpose of the website is.)

I know that this overview is coming across mostly negatively and I'd like to say that the entire picture is not one of negativity. Many "upstart communities" "hit the wall" when the economy crashed nearly 9 years ago, but what is disconcerting/unsatisfactory to many owners in Seawatch with whom I've spoken is that progress on even basic infrastructure needs ground to a halt before completion (or even beginning) so that many lots that were sold have no road/sewer/water/power/lights to allow building a residence to commence even if one desired to move forward. And for those who did "power through" and build/relocate despite the real estate crash, they are now all but nomads in a fairly pristine setting.There are fewer than three dozen homes nestled among the 3,000 acres !

What is the adage, " Build it and they shall come?" Well, the antithesis holds equally valid. If one expects Seawatch to prosper, then an investment in the uncompleted infrastructure must commence.

Finally, I read in the StarNewsOnline.com webpage that "A group of about 115 landowners refiled a lawsuit in April 2015 contending that Mark Saunders and the Coastal Companies artificially manufactured interest in communities throughout Brunswick County, inflated prices, and failed to build promised infrastructure and amenities." ( An original lawsuit totaled over 200 pages !)

Who knows where the story will end? But I do know that purchasing a lot(that is still unbuildable after 8+years) in Seawatch for over $200,000 and which is now assessed for tax purposes by Brunswick County at a value of $3,000 just seems downright wrong ! Sour grapes? Not exactly. Disgusted? That's more like it.

Still, I'm holding out hope for the owners of Seawatch... hope that the Seawatch story will have a happy ending. I'm really a "glass half-full kind of person !"

I encourage property owners to communicate with one another and contact Seawatch regularly to get frequent updates on any progress that might be made. By working together and communicating with one another positive things can happen !

Discaimer: This is a recounting of what I believe I heard in the first 2 1/2 hours of the owner's meeting ( I left at the intermission after the committee reports and did not stay for the 2014 Audit Report, 2016 Budget presentation, or final member comments/questions.)

Good Luck, everyone !
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