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Sunset Bay condo project resets funding, to resume construction

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Construction had ground to a halt in the past few weeks on the Sunset Bay condominium project set on the municipal golf course. Despite a lien filed for $293,000 by Peterson Construction, the project is expected to begin moving forward again.

Dan Pomrenke of Regency Company, which owns the development, told the Pilot-Tribune this week that financing for the $20 million, 70-unit upscale condo project has been reset, allowing building to resume.

"It is disappointing that we did not get pre sales that we thought we could, but the terms of the agreement have been changed so we are ready to move forward," Pomrenke said. "The lien is a part of the business and they will get paid."

Peterson Construction had installed geopiers, needed to stabilize the lakefront land to hold the three-story structures.

Construction time has been lost, on a project projected to open next spring.

Pomrenke said that use of preconstructed panels, however, will allow fairly rapid progress.

"People who drive by expecting to see piles of wood and materials will be disappointed. It will be more like trucks coming in delivering the panels."

The initial phase of the project will include two buildings. An optional third building just to the south would add 33 units if demand warrants.

"We have a lot of people interested and some reservations that we have tried to commit to the dotted line, but people are interested in being able to walk through a 3-D model instead of looking at a 1-D image," Pomrenke said. "But once people see the view and realize that that we are a third cheaper then Okoboji, the interest will be there."

With the new terms in place and pre sale requirements lowered by Regency, efforts to meet the marks needed to pay off the loan are being pushed.

"The financing is in place and we have to work at getting the requirements completed and getting the loan money," Pomrenke said.

Pomrenke said everyone involved is staying positive about the project and expect it to be successfully completed.

"We have investeded $4 million into the project and we are expecting to complete our commitment," Pomrenke said. "We wouldn't have invested into Storm Lake if we didn't see our goals as being realistic."

Regency officials are unsure whether or not they will need to push back plans for an opening date in 2008.

"The dirt work and parts that need to be complete before the building of the condos started have been completed," Pomrenke said. "We will be starting again very soon."

The project has never been in jeopardy, he says.

"It's not that we have hit a 'snag' - just we had to reset the terms of our financing," Pomrenke said. "We have started since day one with our financing in place and we are still there and are moving forward."

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