Friday, August 8, 2008

Another Local Developer Files Bankruptcy

From the Columbian:

Two Creeks was meant to bring luxury living to east Clark County. Instead its upscale Camas townhouses continue to bring financial ruin for its developers and to cost those who backed the project millions. Now 29 unsold homes, out of 31 built near the Camas Meadows Golf Course in 2006, are heading to the auction block. Creditors hope to recover $19.5 million at the Clark County Courthouse steps on Sept. 19 if husband and
wife Rick Bowler and Marilee Thompson can’t pay off their debts before then.
The timing couldn’t be worse. Home sales are down 41 percent and prices are down 3 to 5 percent from a year ago, which will make it difficult to find buyers for the Two Creeks homes in time.
County assessments value the Two Creeks properties at $14.9 million.

Bowler and Thompson now owe Columbia Credit Union $19.5 million, according to court records.
“This is a big loan for us, but we’ve been mindful of the situation there for well over a year now and have acted prudently to set aside reserves,” said Parker Cann, president and chief executive of Columbia Credit Union. The financial institution is secure, Cann said, but he declined to comment on specifics about Two Creeks.
It wasn’t supposed to end this way. When Bowler and Thompson unveiled plans for Two Creeks at Camas Meadows in 2004, the housing market was on the upswing and financing was available.
They borrowed from Columbia Credit Union, and planned eventually to build 122 two-story townhomes, each with 2,200 to 3,000 square feet of living space and each equipped with elevators.
They envisioned tennis courts, a pool and Jacuzzi, barbecue stations, charging stations for golf carts, walking trails, RV storage and more, Bowler said at the time.
The first phase, 31 townhouses, went on the market in 2006. Two people bought homes that year, paying $750,000 and $825,000. Since then, no other sales have closed.


Columbia Credit Union was determined to become a large commercial lender. They even tried to convert to a community bank about 4 years ago. I remember driving around Ridgefield a few years ago and noticed several ‘financing provided by’ signs bearing their logo. It will be interesting to see what their financial statements look like at year end.


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