Tuesday, June 10, 2014

NC: Another Parton-Connected Project in Trouble

Roundabout via Cousin John


Dare County real estate developer Ray Hollowell was counting on Dolly Parton and her family to help him transform the Pine Mountain development, located in southern Burke County, into a more upscale community that he renamed “The South Mountain Preserve.” Hollowell also was counting on Gov. Bev Perdue to help promote the project, and N.C. State University to help establish vineyards and a winery on the property.

Not long before, officials in Roanoke Rapids had counted on Dolly’s brother Randy and the Randy Parton Theatre to anchor a music district that would transform the economy of the region. Soon after the theater opened, however, it became a different kind of anchor, saddling the town with millions in debt and an underused performance facility. The project drew extensive coverage from news outlets across the state, led by reporting in Carolina Journal.

But the saga of Pine Mountain — featuring hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes, delinquent homeowners assessments, and overdue loans — has attracted little public attention and no news stories to date. And Hollowell, along with homeowners in the development and officials in Burke County, hope that Pine Mountain doesn’t suffer a fate similar to that of the Randy Parton Theatre.

Hollowell began purchasing vacant lots at Pine Mountain in 2005, using 14 different entities to acquire more than 900 individual parcels. His activities were concurrent with the development of the Randy Parton Theatre, the groundbreaking for which was in November 2005. The building was completed in March 2007.

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