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Arendale Holdings, the new owner of the remaining developable land in Carriage Park, plans to develop improved lots after repairing erosion damage that resulted in a violation order from Henderson County.
“There are a number of lots that are already developed,” John Kunkel, Arendale president, said in an interview last week. “We’re not going to race out and develop any more lots as long as we have inventory.”
Kunkel was referring to the two forms of land in the undeveloped part of the ridgeside development on N.C. 191. There are about 90 platted lots with road frontage that would be ready to build on. There is enough land for about 124 more but those have not been legally divided for sale and development.
Arendale bought the property for $6 million on the courthouse steps after winning a foreclosure order for what it said was a $14 million unpaid loan to developer Dale Hamlin backed by the property. Hamlin filed bankruptcy petitions on the eve of two previously scheduled foreclosure sales before Arendale’s purchase happened on Sept. 20. A bankruptcy judge threw out the bankruptcy petitions on the grounds that they were filed merely to block the foreclosure.
County inspectors cited Carriage Park Associates for the soil erosion violations in December 2015 and ordered the developer to fix the problem by Jan. 6. It never made the repairs. In a filing in bankruptcy court, Henderson County Attorney Russ Burrell said while the county took no position on the Chapter 7 liquidation petition, the county saw no evidence that Carriage Park had the wherewithal to make the repairs.
Kunkel said filling the deep ruts and repairing eroded banks is one of Arendale's first orders of business once the bankruptcy trustee registers the deed for the property in the developer's name.
“We’ve been working patiently and appreciatively with the county,” he said. “We need to clean up some erosion problems and some other things … I think the homeowners are going to be appreciative that we’re the owner.”