After closing its doors in April and failing to sell its remaining inventory, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.-based Panitz Signature Homes has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in the Jacksonville division of the Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida. The luxury builder listed $18.4 million in assets, $16.5 million in debts and Branch Banking & Trust Co., which is owed $3.8 million, as the major debtor.
Citing the current downturn in the housing market, the luxury builder is calling it quits after operating in Northeast Florida for 27 years. At a May 19 auction, the builder was unable to sell any of its 11 homes, 25 home sites, or 32 townhome sites. The company was started by husband and wife team Lee and Sandra Panitz.
The first incarnation of the family-owned company, Panitz Homes, began operating in 1980. In 1993, the builder became a division of Beazer Homes. The family continued to run the local Beazer operation until 2002 when they decided to return to the custom home building arena.