White Oak development update

Published 3:08 pm Friday, November 20, 2009

In late 2008 White Oak golf community undertook to have its centrally located, main 12-acre lake completed in the area overlooked by the plantation house, future village and village home sites.

In addition to acting as a central feature for the community and the almost completed Palmer Championship course, the main lake was to also serve as the primary source of irrigation for the golf course.

However, due to failures within the liner membrane and subsequently within the lake substrata, the lake failed to hold water as intended.

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As a consequence, it was not possible to proceed with the remainder of the golf course as originally scheduled within 2009 due to the courses dependence upon the lake for irrigation.

The curtailment of the golf course and the centrally located position of the failed lake had a particularly negative knock on effect on White Oak real-estate sales.

Most significant was the loss of a block sale to a significant international development group for up to 100 village home sites. Located within the vicinity of the proposed village and overlooking the central lake and golf course, the purchasing development group had intended to launch a range of village homes that had been designed in collaboration with White Oak architects as part of a prestige package collection. The launch was intended to coincide with similar products in other selected developments within the U.S., Canada and Europe within 2009.

As the 12-acre lake facility, together with the adjacent golf holes, needed considerable reinstatement work, it was impossible to meet the time lines set out by the purchasing international development company.

This unexpected setback and loss in projected revenue seriously curtailed White Oaks cash flow and consequently the scheduled development program for the overall community within 2009.

The lake issue is currently in the process of being resolved.

As a result of these issues, the partners are currently reviewing alternative long term financing options to enable the project to progress on an orderly schedule of work that will allow the community to become fully operational on a phased basis.

The partners, who to date have a very substantial personal investment within the project, remain encouraged by&bsp; the positive indications within the economy, together with the oncoming growth within the baby boomer demographic and the continually decreasing housing stock.

In addition, the partners believe that the positive development at Bright’s Creek serves as a strong vote of confidence for the future outlook of the North Western Carolinas.

Notwithstanding the current construction issues, White Oak development, unlike many other similar developments, is not burdened by any significant bank debt.&bsp; The partners and the existing community of home site owners are most optimistic for the future long term success of the project.

In line with original community policies and emerging market trends, White Oaks architects have been busy redefining and further enhancing all design aspects within the project. It is the development partners’ objective to establish White Oak as the genuine market leader in financially and ecologically sustainable communities.

White Oaks architects are currently developing a package of state-of-the-art, smaller and smarter estate and village home designs.

It is projected, as part of the proposed program of work, to make these design packages available within the spring of 2010, at which point the partners at White Oak believe they will see the foundations being set for solid sales and growth going forward.