Willowbrook residents "still not made whole" by KB Home | News
Bradenton, Florida -- It's been nearly six months since work got underway at the Willowbrook Townhomes, where residents endured moldy living rooms, rotting walls, and collapsing balconies on their three-to-six-year-old homes.
But despite long days from fleets of construction workers, there is no sign the first three buildings targeted for repairs will be done anytime soon. And Willowbrook has 51 buildings total.
Residents tell 10 News its a sign their deteriorating homes were worse than first expected. They also express concern that the independent contractor in charge of the job isn't completely independent.
DueAll Construction, a company out of Riverview, was chosen by Willowbrook's homeowners' association last summer after residents say the community's management company, The Continental Group, recommended them.
But the 10 News Investigators discovered state records indicating DueAll had never been in charge of condo or townhome construction before last summer, let alone a multi-million dollar job like Willowbrook's.
A search of local construction permits revealed just a single driveway repair under DueAll's license. At one time, the company was registered as a hauling company and its registerd owner, Anthony "Tony" Robbins, still owns a hauling company that shares office space with DueAll.
However, last summer, DueAll's main contractor, Sal Ventimiglia, a former Pulte Homes employee, started landing several large jobs, including Willowbrook's.
Willowbrook residents say their biggest concern is the influence Ventimiglia and DueAll may face from KB Home, which has a supervisor on-site every day. They're also concerned about why The Continental Group recommended a company that was neither local to Manatee County nor as experienced as some of the others in the area.
Neither The Continental Group nor KB Home would respond to questions about the story, but KB has insisted they are hands-off on this round of repairs and had no role in choosing the third-party contractor.
Ventimiglia declined numerous interview requests as well, but emailed a statement that said, "Dueall Construction, Inc. has accepted the relationship of trust and confidence established by the Willowbrook Homeowner's Association and K.B. Homes, as Developer."
"Dueall Construction, Inc. is providing sound and efficient business administration and supervision of the remediation work," the statement continued. "We are furnishing these services to the best of our ability, in accordance with the building code and industry standards, giving all attention reasonably necessary to ensure successful completion for the Willowbrook Homeowner's Association."
Work continues at Willowbrook almost every day, but with numerous homeowners preparing for extended residencies in a local hotel, it seems the community may be years away from waking up from its nightmare.
They're also still hoping KB Home will "do the right thing" and buy-back their troubled, stigmatized homes.
If you've been a victim of poor KB Home work, contact 10 News Investigator Noah Pransky at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previous KB Home coverage on 10 News:
2/18/13 - State Senator advocates for Willowbrook owners
12/20/12 - Blight Christmas!
12/12/12 - Upset homeowners plan multi-complex protest
10/30/12 - Angry homeowners confront county building codes czar
10/17/12 - Is KB Home fixing condos or just the stucco?
10/17/12 - Manatee Commissioners getting more active
10/12/12 - Homeowners complain KB "Band-Aids" not working
10/9/12 - Willowbrook residents confront Manatee commissioners
10/4/12 - Nine years of failed fixes from KB Home
10/2/12 - State Senator pleads for AG to investigate KB
9/28/12 - Anomalies found in Willowbrook inspections
9/26/12 - Willowbrook victims seeking legal help
9/19/12 - Frustrated homeowners confront KB executive
9/13/12 - 10 News reveals KB whistleblowers tried to warn homeowners
8/8/12 - Willowbrook homeowners meet with state senator
8/4/12 - Homeowners demanding justice from KB Home