At the time he put his money down, Justin Arnall figured the Zona Lofts project was a sure bet. Its design — with solar panels and a rainwater collection system — allowed marketing it as environmentally friendly. It offered a good location for people wanting downtown living. And many of the condos would be inexpensive by Asheville standards.
“The real estate market was booming. Condos were a home-run investment,” Arnall said. But Zona Lofts turned out to be a strikeout. Construction stopped after some excavation work was done and the proposed site at 150 Coxe Ave. is just a muddy hole in the ground today.
Arnall said developer Rod Kagy has repeatedly told him over the past year or more that a refund of the $8,950 Arnall put down on his unit in 2008 is coming, but “at the end of the day, I don’t have it.” Dozens of investors like Arnall have been unable to retrieve the earnest money deposits they put down on units that have never been built.
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