Customers of a Jacksonville homebuilder accused the company of abandoning projects in a Nocatee neighborhood.
Homeowners told the News4JAX I-TEAM they’re now out hundreds of thousands of dollars and left with an unfinished home build. In some cases, homeowners were left with just a concrete slab.
Officials with St. Johns County said it’s their understanding that the homebuilder, Pineapple Corporation, has gone out of business. News4JAX went to its offices near Jacksonville Beach and found no one there and nothing inside.
In the gated Nocatee neighborhood, it looks like construction is just getting started, but the reality is construction started three years ago and some houses have been left unfinished for months.
“It was our dream to come to Florida and it’s just been a bit of a nightmare,” said Lisa Sparta.
Sparta and her husband moved to Florida from Pennsylvania in 2021, under contract for their dream home to be finished in a year and a half’s time.
“So we put our house on the market, we packed up everything and we moved from Philadelphia down here. We went into a rental thinking we were only going to be there for a few months. And here we are three years later,” Sparta said.
But in the middle of last year their homebuilder, the Pineapple Corporation, halted construction on their home and 15 others. Their build was only about halfway complete.
“Everything was completely overgrown. The window was broken. The stucco was three-quarters of the way done,” Sparta said.
The timeline lines up with what News4JAX’s news partners at the Jacksonville Daily Record reported in May of 2021 with the headline reads: “Relocations drive ‘unbelievable’ year for The Pineapple Corporation.”
Subcontractors were left unpaid and homeowners were left without answers.
Court records show at least eight liens have been filed against Pineapple totaling $215,945. Some contractors News4JAX spoke with in the neighborhood said they’re also owed money but haven’t gone through the trouble of filing liens.
“After we paid some deposits to the builder, and the deposits weren’t passed on to the contractors, the house was just sitting or you know, a little bit of work would get done. And then it would sit for a few months. And there was always an excuse, there was always a reason it was out of their control. It had nothing to do with the builder. It was, you know, supply chain, it was labor shortages. It was any excuse you could think of it was never their fault,” Sparta said.
Sparta and other homeowners have had to hire new contractors to finish the work Pineapple started. She’s just hoping to get to enjoy her dream home soon and get her questions answered about where her money’s gone.
“You know, it should have been an exciting time. But with all the turmoil that has been going on with the house, it’s really like up just completely it’s, it’s been one of the worst things that’s ever happened to us as a family,” Sparta said.