18 January 2010

Community "Back in Business"

A "community" that was left half-finished by a cash-starved developer is now "back in business."

Since when are real communities "businesses"?


Community west of Delray Beach back in business
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Folks in the Tivoli Isles community west of Delray Beach have been living with unfinished homes and a clubhouse that was only 85 percent complete since 2008 when construction halted.

But building has begun again after the purchase of the unsold homes and clubhouse by New Jersey-based K. Hovnanian developers, which will begin selling inventory and new homes under construction in January.

Of 315 homes in the active-adult community east of U.S. 441 and north of Atlantic Avenue, 155 them are occupied by owners and 32 are in various stages of construction. That leaves 128 lots for new homes.

The 6,000-square-foot clubhouse is expected to be finished by February.

"We are pretty popular with the homeowners right now," said Mark Hodges, Southeast Florida division president for K. Hovnanian. "They care deeply about their community."

The community also will get a new name, Four Seasons at Delray Beach.

K. Hovnanian purchased the development's mortgage note from BankAtlantic after a foreclosure judgment against Home Devco Tivoli Isles LLC. Hodges said the amount of the purchase is sealed under a confidentiality agreement until K. Hovnanian takes official title to the property, which will happen by the end of the year.

Home Devco, which had a $54 million loan for the development, started selling homes in late 2005 in the mid $300,000s up to $800,000.

Hodges said the homes sold well until 2007 when the market turned sour. Sales were suspended in 2008. K. Hovnanian's pricing will begin in the $200,000s.

"We see the market returning," Hodges said. "If we aren't absolutely at the bottom, we're near it."

Hodges said to look for K. Hovnanian to buy more sites in the near future.

"We are acting absolutely bullish," Hodges said. "Land values have found their way back to bring affordable housing to the market again."


A new senior-living community is planned for the Abacoa neighborhood of Jupiter after the $3.9 million purchase of a 7-acre site by Divosta Homes LLP.

Construction on the 140-unit, three-story development is expected to begin in summer 2010, with the first units available the following year.

The development, which will include studio, one- and two- bedroom residences, will be at the intersection of Indian Creek Parkway and Central Boulevard.

It will be operated by Hallmark Senior Housing.

For more information on the Allegro at Abacoa, go to www.theallegro.com.


Short sales litter the distressed real estate market but are still uncommon on Palm Beach.

Island residents, however, are not immune to financial woe, and Realtor Gary Pohrer of Fite Shavell and Associates recently closed a short sale on a Palm Beach home at 237 Seabreeze.

Realtor Paul Schafranick with Frank Lanosa Realty represented the buyers in the deal.

The 237 Seabreeze property is between South County Road and Cocoanut Row, and originally was listed at $5.5 million.

The home is newly built, with construction finishing in January.

County records show that former owner Lauro Bianda took out a $3.7 million loan on the property in 2007 with Wachovia Mortgage Corp. Wachovia filed a notice of foreclosure on the property in August.

Pohrer said he hired an attorney with his own money to negotiate the short sale.

"I had spent so much time on the property, I wanted to see it through," he said.

Pohrer said slightly more than $4 million was owed on the home. It sold for $3.95 million.

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