Industry News

Deserters and discounts in a downturn

Vacant homes create modern ghost towns

By VICKI GERSON The collapse of the housing market has caused numerous heartaches and left promises unfulfilled for some homeowners and cities and towns across the nation. Some builders and developers have left a trail of unfinished houses and projects, bankruptcy filings, roads to nowhere, homeowners with subcontractor liens on their homes and homeowners forced into foreclosure. Partially constructed and/or mostly deserted condo structures have been dubbed "ghost towers," and some developments plagued by vacant units are seeing renewed interest with the downward spiral in prices. Illinois Clublands is a 600-acre development conceived by Neumann Homes. The builder planned to build 950 homes priced from $300,000 to $400,000 in the Village of Antioch, a suburb close to the Wisconsin border. Once the 35th-largest builder in the nation, the company went bankrupt, and the clubhouse, three pools and sand volleyball court were never built. Some homes are still in hous...