Residents of Cresswind at Lake Lanier, formerly Seasons on Lanier, are excited to see interest in their neighborhood pick up following a period of uncertainty.
The Kolter Group, a private investment firm, bought the development after Seasons on Lanier owners Levitt & Sons filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2007. Since the neighborhood's grand opening in April, 13 homes have sold in the community, said Bob Rademacher, Kolter vice president.
"In this economy, we're very pleased with the response that we've been given by our buyers," Rademacher said. "We've gotten a lot of people who are right on the cusp of joining us here at Lake Lanier."
John Snyder, a Cresswind resident who acted as the community's Homeowners Association president during the interim period following the Levitt & Sons pullout, said he was glad to see more people moving into what has always been a positive environment.
"We don't look at (the bankruptcy) as really a negative time," Snyder said. "But we do appreciate what (Kolter) is doing now because they have been putting a lot of money in here. Some of the very first things they did were things to benefit the residents that were already here."
The company tore down houses that weren't up to the community's standards and began cleaning up some of the unfinished lots, Rademacher said.
"We've come in and taken it where it should be," he said. "If you come in the community, it looks brand new."
He said Kolter has already spent more than $1 million to revamp the neighborhood.
In October, construction will begin on the 27,000 square-foot clubhouse, which Rademacher said demonstrates his company's commitment to the neighborhood.
"Their fate was uncertain for a long time," Rademacher said. "Now that we're here, I think they feel like the vision that they purchased in the first place is going to become a reality."
Snyder said the community stayed afloat before Kolter took over by keeping up the neighborhood with funds from the bankruptcy court. He said they received support totaling around $300,000.
"The residents were left to fend for ourselves, and we did pull together," Snyder said. "We continued to collect our association fees. We kept the place up."
But now they've passed on the responsibility, and Snyder said the community should continue to flourish.
"I just think that at some point in time in the near future this place is going to be one of the bright spots in Gainesville," Snyder said.