Stalled Jackson development finds new buyer, homes will be finished

For more than a year, houses all along Thomas Drive and Emerald Lane in Jackson have stood half-built, with rough exteriors, absent electrical work, plumbing, driveways and landscaping – a neatly lined tribute to the mortgage crisis that recently gripped America.

However, in December, a capital investment group purchased the upside-down Jackson View development and has set about completing the neighborhood along the lines of its original vision.

Jackson View began as the brainchild of Sacramento-based group Eland Construction Inc., which hoped to build Jackson’s first gated community of homes for residents 55 years and older on a picturesque hilltop overlooking South Jackson and the hills rolling out to the Mokelumne River. The firm recruited Coldwell Banker to handle sales for the community. The project got under way at roughly the same time as the Great Recession hit.

“We had sold nine homes, but sales were going really slow and the owner got behind on everything,” recalled real estate broker Tom Blackman, who was a point man for sales with Coldwell Banker. “The bank ended up foreclosing. What happened to the owner wasn’t uncommon, and I wouldn’t say he did anything wrong. It was just that the market turned suddenly and the loan was too big for him to make the payments on.”

The nine homebuyers who were locked into Jackson View found themselves surrounded by more than a dozen empty home shells. Coldwell Banker says it helped to keep the properties maintained and looked out for the interest of the new homeowners living in the defunct development.

Some Jackson police officers worried that transients might start squatting inside the open structures, bringing drug issues and burglaries with them, as has happened in some foreclosed homes in the central part of the city. Ultimately, the development’s considerable walking distance from South Jackson appears to have helped prevent that.

As of December, the handful of residents living in its ghost town streets will no longer have to worry, as Coldwell Banker has confirmed the entire project has been purchased by Jackson View Partners LLC.

Blackman describes Jackson View Partners LLC as a group of experienced capital investors, some of whom live in New York. “They are taking a pretty hands-off approach,” he said of the group. “They’re allowing Coldwell Banker to handle the sales again and help get the project finished. That means all of the different local contractors and subcontractors who were working on it before are now employed again. I think it’s a really positive thing for Amador County.”

Jackson City Manager Mike Daly agreed. “It’s great to see work resume on the unfinished homes in Jackson View,” Daly observed on the same day the plumbers, painters and electricians were busy working on the homes. “In addition to putting some people back to work, I’m sure that the residents in this neighborhood will be glad to see the homes completed and ready for occupancy.”

According to Coldwell Banker, homes in the project will be ready for sale by March at “market-adjusted prices.”

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