Another one bites the dust…another one bits the dust…and another one gone and another one gone…

No it’s not Queen and Freddie Mercury rising again, it’s the sound of falling developers…and their developments going up for auction.

In an areas less than a mile apart, are 4 very different developments-3 of which are in trouble or closed down. Dove Creek, currently owned by Centex, still has breath left in it, but Southside Condo’s on El Camino Real is closed down and now Las Lomas, with RW Hertel and Tri-Mark Pacific owning various lots are kicking off. Hertel apparently is in big financial trouble on this project, with some houses and lots set to be auctioned next month. Tri-Mark has problems, but has sold all their homes except for 4, which are worth less than what they owe on to the bank.

In retrospect, I am glad some of these jobs, which I had bid on a couple years ago, were jobs I didn’t get. Hopefully the subs have got paid…

Read the article below from the Tribune

From the Tribune’s Biz Buzz section…
Las Lomas, a large housing subdivision started in 2003 in south Atascadero, has come to a stop and is in financial trouble. Only 60 or so of the 279 projected homes have been built and occupied, and part of the 100-acre-plus tract is in foreclosure.

Part of the tract is owned by developer Ronald W. Hertel, operating under Atascadero Ventures LLC, and the rest is owned by Trimark Pacific Homes of Westlake Village near Los Angeles.

County records show that Hertel’s firm owes more than $21 million to two real estate lenders: Point Center Financial of Orange County and De Witte Mortgage Investors Fund of Santa Barbara.

Currently 21 lots on Via Cielo, Azor Lane and Monte Verde are scheduled for public auction next month. About half of the to-be-auctioned lots have newly-built, high-end, 3,000-square-foot homes that were on the market—but did not sell — for between $800,000 to $1 million. The rest are vacant.

Hertel and other company representatives could not be reached for comment.

Trimark Pacific bought a portion of Las Lomas from Hertel in 2005. That portion of the project has also stopped, said Kirk Chittick, Trimark Pacific’s vice president of sales and marketing.

Of the 19 homes that his firm has already built, he said four remain to be sold at asking prices around $700,000.

Trimark has stopped building because it “owes the bank more than the houses are worth,” Chittick said.

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