Update to this story: Bankruptcy court has bad news for people owed money by Parade of Homes builder
A prominent Tri-City home builder known for the luxurious Mediterranean-style villas it built for Parade of Homes has closed its doors.
Solferino Homes Inc., which built on the Columbia River and in the hills of south Richland, appears to have folded after debts overwhelmed its assets, according to a petition to liquidate the company filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
Solferino listed $1.1 million in assets and $9.2 million in liabilities. The company’s Kennewick offices are closed and its website is no longer active.
Solferino, also known as M|S Homes, is led by president Marco Solferino. The company was a regular builder in Parade of Homes, the annual showcase of luxury living organized by the Home Builders Association of Tri-Cities.
Its 2011 Parade of Homes, built in south Richland’s Westcliffe neighborhood, won best-in-show honors out of 26 homes included that year.
It returned to Parade of Homes several more times, most recently in 2018, always at Westcliffe.
Last year’s entry was “Villa San Miguel” — a 3,000-square-foot rambler with multiple covered patios and a formal entrance leading directly to a well-appointed kitchen suitable for entertaining and cooking demonstrations.
The design honored the Italian wine country. The house sold for $750,000.
$9.2 million in liabilities
Of its $9.2 million in liabilities, Soferino disclosed that nearly $7.4 million is in unsecured claims, much of it involving its customers and subcontractors who worked on its projects.
Unsecured creditors are the last to get paid in bankruptcy cases and frequently receive a fraction of what they say they are owed.
Marco Solferino moved to the Tri-Cities with his brother from England in the late 1990s.
Kennewick attorney William Hames of Hames, Anderson, Whitlow & O’Leary is representing Solferino.
Hames could not be reached to comment on the case Monday.
The company’s primary assets include vacant lots on Columbia River Road in Pasco, valued at $450,000, as well as on Ferrara Lane, Camy Street and Genoa Lane in Richland.
Its top unsecured creditor is Pomona Properties & Investments LLC of Kennewick, which has a $4 million claim associated with the purchase and sale of vacant land. A Pomona spokesman said only that the filing came as a surprise.
Unsecured creditors with claims of $100,000 or more include: Premier Landscape & Design Inc. of Richland ($283,640), Perfection Glass of Richland ($137,967), Rolling Stone Construction of Kennewick ($137,811), RP Development of Kennewick ($137,457), Kelly Right Real Estate of Kennewick ($133,216), IWI Insulation Inc. of Kennewick ($108,721) and Apollo Sheet Metal Inc. of Kennewick ($100,639).
Claims for deposits and work not completed include a Benton City woman ($484,244), a couple from Richland ($313,584), a West Richland couple ($274,157), a Mesa couple ($148,600) and a couple from Sammamish ($114,449).
The case is assigned to U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Frank L. Kurtz.
There is a creditors meeting on April 30.