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Sheriff: Nocatee builder who left reality star’s home unfinished has other victims

uthor: Jeannie Blaylock
Published: 10:15 PM EST February 14, 2024
Updated: 12:17 PM EST February 15, 2024

PONTE VEDRA, Fla. — Captain Sandy Yawn from the reality hit show ‘Below Deck Mediterranean’ says she and her fiancée spent 1.6 million on a new home in The Vista neighborhood in Nocatee.  But now her house, she says, is hardly finished and the builder is ‘MIA.’

Yawn says she is now stuck paying — perhaps $800,000 — to buy lights and countertops and toilets, even a roof, all items that were already supposed to be finished from her original payment.  In fact, Yawn and other neighbors say the builder left them with a “shell,”not a home.

And she is angry.

So are her neighbors in The Vista at Twenty Mile, a neighborhood that was portrayed as the setting for luxury homes by the builder, The Pineapple Corporation and its top executive, Spencer Calvert.

But where is the builder now?  “I don’t know,” Yawn says.

Other neighbors says they haven’t seen him in months, even a year.  Yet Calvert, through his marketing agent, Maxine McBride, released a statement to First Coast News saying, “Pineapple Corporation is in communication with all parties involved to find an amiable solution.”

Yawn and other neighbors says that’s “a lie”. 

James Gonzalez is an attorney  with Cobb & Gonzalez representing eight neighbors in The Vista.  They are suing both Calvert and the Pineapple Corporation in separate suits. 

Gonzalez says he has one client who paid $600,000 for an empty lot.  And it’s still empty.  “They own the dirt and that’s it,” Gonzales says.  He says they paid almost a half a million dollars to begin construction on top of the $600,000 land purchase.

“And they have nothing to show for it,” Gonzalez says.   He says it’s been almost a year since Calvert was paid and he never applied for permits to begin construction, exceeding the limit allowed by law by many months.

Can the homeowners expect to get back any of the money lost?  Gonzales says, “That’s the hope.”  He says The Pineapple Corporation has not filed bankruptcy; in fact, it’s still listed on the official state website “SunBiz” as having filed an annual report several weeks ago.

And the builder, Calvert, is listed as having an “active” license for a contractor in Florida on the Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s website. 

In a statement from the St. Johns County Sheriff’s office,  public information officer, Taylor Levesque, released this comment: 

“There are multiple victims and this is an active investigation led by the S-J-S-O Property Crimes Unit.”

First Coast News made several calls to the PARC group, the master builders of Nocatee.  We asked what PARC plans to do to help the homeowners, but no one has returned calls.

Catherine and Sam Dorrance were trying to move into The Vista. Sam, his wife says, was looking forward to being in the Nocatee community after his service in the military. He flew C140’s in the Gulf War.  But now, she says, their house is just a “shell,” and they’re out a large sum of money. “We were told 18 months to finish, and it’s been almost three years,” she says.

Captain Sandy’s fiancée, Leah Schafer, says, “I feel duped.  I feel robbed.” 

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