OAK ISLAND, NC (WECT) – An unfinished construction project is causing headaches for leaders in one Brunswick County town.
The Preserve at Oak Island is on scheduled to be finished by the beginning of 2015, but town leaders are frustrated with years of delayed development and are now taking an extra step to speed up the process.
The Preserve Condominium Complex is located on Marsh Grove Lane near the Cape Fear Regional Jetport in Oak Island.
Construction of the final building began on the building in late 2007 just as the recession was beginning to take hold. As the market continued to spiral out of control, construction came to a halt.
As with most businesses during that time, the focus shifted from one of growth to preservation. According to a spokesperson for the Preserve, the area was left with a concrete behemoth to look at for the last few years.
The first step when resuming a project like this was for developers to determine how far back they needed to go before moving forward. Over the last 3-4 months they've had third party engineers carefully reviewing the structure.
The buildings are specifically designed to handle the elements, so as expected; the structural components of the building are in great shape. The non-structural items such as wall sheathing, studs, and roofing will need to be removed to get back to a clean slate. In the big picture these costs are minimal.
Mayor Betty Wallace says that the town recently gave the developers a deadline of Dec. 31 to either make "substantial construction progress" or demolish the property.
"This is the major gateway for Oak Island and the first thing you see when you're coming over the bridge is these unfinished buildings and they're gaping and they have partially sheet rock on them," said Wallace. "It looks terrible."
Developers admit that their relationship with town leaders has been a little contentious at times, but ultimately, they plan to work together to finish the project in a timely manner.
A spokesperson for the development company estimates that the entire project will be finished in the next 14-15 months.