Capt. Sandy Yawn’s new home plans in Nocatee run aground

The reality TV star is among customers accusing builder The Pineapple Corporation of leaving their homes unfinished.

  • By Dan Macdonald
  • | 5:00 p.m. February 13, 2024
  • | 4 Free Articles Remaining!
Reality TV personality Capt. Sandy Yawn and her partner, Leah Shafer, purchased a home at 72 Bear Point in Nocatee for $1.613 million.
Reality TV personality Capt. Sandy Yawn and her partner, Leah Shafer, purchased a home at 72 Bear Point in Nocatee for $1.613 million.
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Reality TV star Capt. Sandy Yawn and her partner, Leah Shafer, have learned that contractors have quit the job and left their St. Johns County home unfinished.

Yawn is the yacht captain featured on Bravo’s “Below Deck Mediterranean.” The couple paid more than $1.6 million in January for the home at 72 Bear Point under construction in Twenty Mile in Nocatee, Ponte Vedra. It was a cash transaction.

Daily Record news partner News4Jax reported Feb. 13 that the homebuilder, The Pineapple Corporation, has apparently gone out of business. 

The company’s former Jacksonville Beach offices are empty, the report said. 

The company let its membership with the Northeast Florida Builders Association expire last year, according to the trade organization.

Spencer Calvert, The Pineapple Corporation president, did not return messages from the Daily Record requesting comment.

It isn’t just Capt. Sandy having issues.

Pineapple Corporation President Spencer Calvert in 2021. Capt. Sandy Yawn and her partner, Leah Shafer, have hired a private detective to try to find him.

Between October 2023 and February 2024, The Pineapple Corporation was sued 18 times in St. Johns County by homebuyers who allege Pineapple took their money but did not deliver finished homes and by subcontractors who claim they supplied materials and did work for Pineapple but were not paid.

Five of the complaints are closed, according to public documents on file with the St. Johns County Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller.

The homebuyers allege damages between about $1.1 million and nearly $2 million for purchase of lots and payments made on contracts for homes that remain unfinished.

The subcontractors claim damages of as much as $228,000 because Pineapple allegedly failed to pay for materials delivered to home sites.

Several of the homeowners are on a text chain where they discuss new developments concerning their situation, Yawn said.

“It kind of brought the neighborhood together, because we’re all in the same boat, so to speak,” she said.

Yawn and Shafer are splitting time between Jacksonville and Colorado. Yawn was preparing to leave for the Miami International Boat Show when she was contacted by the Daily Record.

The two had hoped to move to Nocatee this June and were trying to find financing. Yawn said they paid The Pineapple Corporation $1.3 million — her life savings.

“I’m not rich. We are not famous like a movie star. I’m on reality TV,” she said.

She said they had to pay another $368,000 at closing. The couple has hired a private detective to find Calvert.

“And it’s been really disturbing and very mentally stressful. Just terrible. We had our cries. We had meltdowns when we found out that all of our money was missing,” Yawn said.

Capt. Sandy Yawn purchased this building at 618 W. Adams St. in LaVilla, with plans to renovate it into a restaurant, but had to demolish it after the costs were too high to save the structure.

Their house has been roughed out. The exterior has been wrapped but no siding or stucco has been installed. The roof is not complete. There has been water damage and mold is present, she said. 

Drywall will have to be removed to reroute plumbing that was not installed in the correct spot to attach to the kitchen island sink, she said.

Yawn recalled falling in love with the Nocatee community the first time she drove through the development.

“I saw the water parks because I’m just a big kid. They had water slides and they had golf carts, and I was like, I found my happy place,” she said.

She found The Pineapple Corporation from advertising on a website concerning the water park.

“I looked at the park website, and I saw them advertising all these builders. I drove through the communities and I saw The Pineapple Corporation. If they’re on the park’s website, they must be legit.”

The home isn’t Yawn’s first effort to buy property in Northeast Florida. In 2020, Yawn bought a building at 618 W. Adams St. in LaVilla in Downtown Jacksonville with plans to transform it into a nautical-themed restaurant. However, because of structural problems, it was demolished in 2023.

Yawn spoke openly about her brushes with the law as a teen. She said she is a recovering alcoholic and that was the cause of many of her problems years ago. Whenever she broke the law, she was always caught, she said. 

“Will I ever see a dime back? Probably not. But what will make me sleep better at night is knowing that he has to pay. He has to have restitution and accountability for what he did.”

Associate Editor Max Marbut and Daily Record news partner News4Jax contributed to this story.



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