By Jessica Tuggle
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY - Despite a foreclosure lawsuit against it, one Indian River County community has refused to let it get them down.
Last month, Wells Fargo Bank filed a foreclosure lawsuit against Pointe West for a debt of $20 million. The foreclosure will not affect the community's lands with homes, just the undeveloped residential and commercial property and the golf course.
Pointe West is currently in negotiations with a company to purchase the properties and that process should be completed by early 2013. Mr. Mechling said no changes are expected as a result of the purchase.
The foreclosure is simply a sign of the hard economic times, Mr. Mechling said.
"Like tens of thousands of others, we were affected by the economic downturn," he said.
There were certain financial commitments made to lenders that the development has been unable to keep up and as a result, the bank must follow their charter and issue a foreclosure, Mr. Mechling said.
Residents will see zero change in their community as a result of the foreclosure. Activities will still be held at the golf club, the golf course and throughout the community, he said.
Many different factors contributed to Pointe West's financial situation, including the Indian River County school board's decision to not move forward on an elementary school within the community after the development had the school in its plans from since the beginning.
Mr. Mechling said he doesn't blame the school board members, he understands they had financial issues to consider as well, but it was very unfortunate for the community. The school was supposed to anchor the community and other ancillary businesses would have been built around it.
"But when you take a piece out of the puzzle, you're going to have a problem," Mr. Mechling said.
"I understand the school board made a judgment call based on their financial situation," he said.
But that doesn't mean fun won't be found at Pointe West. Festivals, movies and more are examples of a vibrant, active community in the midst of a slow economy.
On Oct. 20, "Screen on the Green," a joint event between Pointe West and the Indian River County recreation department, will begin once again.
Children and families are invited to bring their chairs and blankets on the lawn, pack a picnic and enjoy some cinematic entertainment in the outdoors, said Chuck Mechling, president of Pointe West.
"E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" will be shown at 7 p.m. on Oct. 20 on the Pointe West park lawn.
Screen on the Green is scheduled for the third Saturday of every month, with the exception of December.
The featured movie on Nov. 17 is "Puss In Boots;" Jan. 19 is "Ice Age 4: Continental Drift;" Feb. 16, Kung Fu Panda 2" and March 16, "HOP."
In December, Pointe West's annual Winterfest will return. The event is usually filled with imported snow and ice and other sorts of winter activities.
There are about 800 homes in the Pointe West community and many of their activities are open to the public, including Screen on the Green.
"Come and experience our vibrant community," Mr. Mechling said.
Despite the sour economy and the foreclosure news, Pointe West has continued to be a strong force for new development in Indian River County, Mr. Mechling said.
The community has ranked first or second for pulling residential building permits in Indian River County for several months in a row, another sign of a thriving community, he said.
For more information about events at Pointe West, call (772) 794-9912.