Left unfinished by the insolvent Erpenbeck Co., the Oakwood Lakes townhome project in Mason is showing new signs of life under a new developer.
Fischer Homes has picked up where Erpenbeck left off at the development on Western Row Road. The Crestview Hills builder has begun work on 23 townhomes, some mostly done, some never begun. Erpenbeck had left the project littered with stacks of lumber exposed to the elements.
"We hope to have some closings this year on those homes and we hope to start our product in the fall of this year," said Greg Beckett, sales manager of Fischer's Attached Division.
Beckett said Fischer will add 164 townhomes of its own design, including ranch-style townhomes and villas ranging in price from $140,000 to $260,000. The company expects to complete the project in about three years.
Bank One assumed control of the development after Erpenbeck defaulted on its construction loan. It sold the property to a Chicago investment company, which then sold it to Fischer. For the owners of the 60 or so units already sold and occupied, the completion of the rest of the neighborhood will be a welcome relief from the barren scene on the other side of the lake.
"We're very confident that the relationship is good and that the future of the community is sound," said Paul Doe, president of the Oakwood Lakes homeowners association. "We're grateful that the whole thing is behind us."
Bill Erpenbeck, former president of Erpenbeck Co., has pleaded guilty to bank fraud in connection with the company's April 2002 failure. Because the company misappropriated millions of dollars in home-sale proceeds, hundreds of customers were left with unpaid mortgages.
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