Community left in limbo after developer leaves premises

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By Laura Lewis, Reporter

CAROLINA SHORES—Homeowners in the Calabash Lakes community have begun meeting after the developer of their community, Portrait Homes, left without leaving a forwarding address or phone number.

Bob Litz, a homeowner in the new subdivision built on the former Calabash Golf Links course off Thomasboro Road, said homeowners were planning to gather this week to discuss Portrait’s current financial woes, including cases that have been filed in bankruptcy court.

Because Portrait left without giving access to the clubhouse, he said they planned to gather at one of their homes and also discuss the possibility of forming a homeowners association.

Though Portrait signs are still posted all over the community, a phone number at Portrait’s sales office—a former golf clubhouse—has been disconnected. A salesperson based at Portrait’s Myrtle Beach, S.C., office also did not return phone calls from a Beacon reporter.

Carolina Shores building inspector Jean Crowley said the town has received no notice or any communication from Portrait or its parent company, Pasquinelli.

“When we call, we don’t get any return calls,” she said. “We haven’t been able to reach them.”

She said the last person she dealt with at the development is no longer there, and contacts otherwise are based out of Myrtle Beach.

At last count, she said 54 units on the site had been sold. Original plans for the community called for 103 single-family lots in Phase 1, plus 86 duplexes and 258 townhomes.

Litz said homeowners have not received any information from Portrait.

At the end of September or early October, he said the company let their maintenance man go. In the meantime, homeowners have taken it upon themselves to maintain grounds and common areas in the community.

Three different correspondences have been sent to company president Mike Pasquinelli in Chicago, and Litz said to date none have received a response. Litz said a request was made for homeowners to be placed on the board of directors.

“Until this financial crisis is resolved, we’ll manage the property ourselves,” Litz said. “Let us take over, because we have a great community.”

At present, he said there are 47 homeowners in the community. He estimates the combination among homeowners consists of more than an $8 million investment in the community.

“As it stands right now, we have one of the prettiest communities,” Litz said. “We want to keep it going, even if we have to pay a little bit extra to keep it going until such time that Portrait Homes comes back. We as homeowners can’t sit idly by. We have to step up to the plate.”