Monday, January 20, 2014

Unfinished apartments on Hwy 501 in Conway, SC,-78.989245&spn=0.000913,0.001321&t=h&z=20&source=embed
Coastal Estates as seen from US 501 by Google Maps.
2519 US 501 Hwy Conway, SC

This article is not about Timmonsville. It should be filed under the "Wow, what a waste!" category.

Have you noticed the unfinished apartment buildings for student housing on US 501 in Conway, SC? They are located just past Coastal Carolina University and before you get to Carolina Forest on the left. I noticed these falling apart buildings on a trip to the beach a while back.

The story we did recently about ex-NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield's former home reminded
us of this unfinished project.

I basically just wanted to find out why the construction had stopped on these apartments. It seemed to be a great waste of money, energy, time, and natural resources.

It also made me think of a passage in the Bible, Luke 14:28-30 (KJV) which reads:

28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?

29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,

30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.

How do you build seven large buildings at the same time and not see something like this coming?

It is reported that Chancel Hospitality Residential & Tourism, Inc. (Chancel HRT), the project’s builder, says developers, Students Investments LLC and Reliable Investments Inc., quit paying the construction bills. They reportedly owed the Conway-rooted construction company $3.6 million plus interest and attorney’s fees. Chancel HRT believes the owners quit paying because an expected loan and/or outside investment in the building project didn’t come to fruition.

The original plan was to build 11 buildings at $1.7 million each. Each building contained 12 apartments. Seven buildings were erected and made it to the external construction stage of having felt paper and house wrap which, as you can see below, doesn't last that long when exposed to the weather.

If they had at least put roofs (shingles) on each of these buildings they could have possibly stayed unfinished for a little longer. Of course, exposure to sunlight, wind or driving rain causes house wrap to grow brittle and lose protection after only several months. So, even better, if they could have put a roof on each one of them AND finished the outsides with siding the whole insides could have been left unfinished and they would have lasted for quite a while in that condition.

It appears these seven units were erected simultaneously but after seeing what happens when financing falls through on a large project like this, it seems it would be better to complete one building at a time or at least have a strategy to build them in multiples of twos or threes so that there would be enough money to get each phase to a completely weatherproof condition. If a builder doesn't get paid at least he can file some sort of a lien on a property that might be worth closer to its finished value (because of it being weatherproofed or "dried in") if sold at auction.

Sure, it may not be the builder's fault that the money from the developers ran out. How far into debt should a builder get in a situation like this before getting paid? Should they protect themselves by building one or two buildings at a time?

One of the articles below said they had already installed bathtubs and plumbing fixtures. Would this be the right thing to do before putting a roof on a building? I know different contractors and sub-contractors often work on projects like these and often at the same time but shouldn't the main goal of the builder in charge be to weatherproof the building as fast as possible?

Leave your comments and let us know what you think. If you are a builder we'd love to hear from you and get your thoughts.

View Larger Map

Here are some links to stories about this project which will give you more information:

No comments:

Post a Comment