Economy Claims New Charleston Victims


Dozens affected as developer Arnold Goodstein falters

August 22, 2008

By Katy Stech – The Post and Courier

In the stillness of a midsummer afternoon, Patty and William Pawlak heard a scream.

It came out of a half-built, abandoned house behind their secluded Legend Oaks neighborhood near Summerville. A young boy who lived nearby, and had claimed the house as his “fort,” accidentally cut his arm on shattered glass from broken windows. He desperately needed stitches.

To surrounding residents, the vacant home and the cleared field around it are a safety hazard and breeding ground for mischief. Neighbors hear gunshots late at night, and the area has become a dumping ground, littered with crushed beer cans and spent fireworks.

The site was left derelict by Summerville Homes, which once planned to build about 30 homes there. Now the company is scrambling to work out deals with its banks over what’s left of what once was one of the area’s largest local residential builders.

Dozens of lawsuits from lenders and subcontractors have been filed against the company, and a court-appointed receiver has taken over some of its assets.

Summerville Homes is led by lawyer and former state lawmaker Arnold Goodstein. He’s known in business circles as smart and aggressive, and real estate industry experts say his company, like others, got caught with more than it could handle as the real estate market slowed.



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