Charleston Builder Going Into Bankruptcy

July 9, 2008

By Katy Stech – The Post and Courier

The developer of Whitney Lakes subdivision on Johns Island, John D. Lisi, says his company will be filing for bankruptcy protection in hopes the reorganization will allow the project to move forward.

Struggling like many others in the real estate industry, the developer of an unfinished Johns Island subdivision is arranging to file for bankruptcy court protection.

Developer John D. Lisi told residents of the Whitney Lakes subdivision that he plans to reorganize his company through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company plans to file its legal papers by Aug. 1, he said.

“We are working on a reorganization plan that would basically allow us to move forward with the project,” he said. “We do have a very workable plan that addresses the needs of the homeowners and the payments that are due to venders (and) lenders.”

The bankruptcy filing would help Lisi manage his mounting business debts. Since Jan. 1, various construction-related companies have filed liens against the company totaling more than $700,000, according to Charleston County court records.

After reorganizing, Lisi said, the company plans to resume building out the 160-acre community located off Murraywood Road. Construction at the project stopped in February, leaving a handful of skeletal buildings among the completed residences.

The legal move would allow his company to sell completed townhomes, though it’s unclear how many buyers plan to follow through with their purchase agreements, he said.

Some buyers have refused to close on their units after receiving a letter from the company in late 2006 asking them to pay 18 percent more than the price they agreed to in their sales contracts. The letter cited delays in installing water mains as well as rising construction costs.



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