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St. Lawrence Homes

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This is a total shock. Really seems to bring the crisis closer to home...

http://www.newsobserver.com/business/story/1391508.html''>http://www.newsobserver.com/business/story/1391508.html' target="_blank">http://www.newsobserver.com/business/story/1391508.html[/post]

Triangle builder files for bankruptcy

As sales slump, St. Lawrence Homes seeks protection from dozens of creditors

RALEIGH -- One of the Triangle's biggest homebuilders is seeking bankruptcy protection -- the latest reminder that the region isn't protected from the national housing meltdown.

St. Lawrence Homes on Monday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Eastern District of North Carolina.

The Raleigh company, which lists $158 million in assets, still owes lenders, contractors, advertising partners and other companies $116 million, documents show.

St. Lawrence plans to operate through the restructuring and "emerge from its reorganization proceedings better capitalized and financially stronger," according to a statement on its Web site.

St. Lawrence founder and president Bob Ohmann did not immediately return messages seeking comment late Monday.

The respected homebuilder has epitomized the struggles of its industry recently.

"They are just in a long line of folks -- especially in the construction and development business -- that are having problems," said David Warren, a bankruptcy lawyer at Poyner Spruill in Raleigh.

St. Lawrence, founded in 1989, was one of the region's biggest developers of homes for first-time buyers and growing families.

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