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Monday, March 7, 2011

Sincerity, Bobby Ginn style

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        No one developer has done more to make buyers nervous about purchasing a golf community home today than has Bobby Ginn, whose genius was at tapping into the hopes, dreams and egos of wealthy and wannabe wealthy clients.  Of course, we now know how dreams turn into nightmares as former Ginn clients are suing the developer in the hopes of recouping millions of dollars. 

        Whether the collapse of his empire, which included lush

"It's complicated," Ginn said in 2008 about his financing arrangements.

properties like Tesoro, Quail West, and Bella Collina in Florida, Ginn sur Mer in the Bahamas, and Laurelmor and Cobblestone Park in the Carolinas was willful or just stupid is something courtrooms in the south will sort out as trustees for aggrieved Ginn property owners go after the developer and his financial backers.  Readers of this site will recall that Ginn et al defaulted on a more than $600 million Credit Suisse loan that, some lawsuits allege, was used for purposes unrelated to the provisions of the loan.

        With thanks to Toby Tobin, the Florida real estate blogger who has followed the Ginn saga more closely than anyone without a financial interest in the proceedings, I just watched a video of Ginn from August 2008 in which the developer addressed rumors about his organization’s financial problems, specifically as they related to his Ginn sur Mer project in the Bahamas.  In it, Ginn admits it would take hours to explain the financing for the property.  “It’s complicated,” he admits, with disarming understatement.

        Those unfortunate folks who were taken in by Ginn’s lavish up-front expenditures, like the $32 million Tuscan-style clubhouse at Bella Collina which I visited in February and write about in the March issue of Home On The Course, will no doubt feel a chill as they watch and listen as Ginn says, with an unflinching air of sincerity, “We never want to say something we can’t back up, and we never want to sell someone something we can’t back up.  We’re out of business if we ever do that.”

        Honestly, he said that.


You can watch the Ginn video from 2008 here.  You can read Toby Tobin’s latest piece on Ginn here.  You can subscribe to our free Home On The Course newsletter by subscribing at the top of the page.

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Larry Gavrich

This blog was conceived and is published by me, Larry Gavrich, a former corporate communications executive who founded HomeOnTheCourse, LLC, in 2005.  Our firm advises baby boomers and others seeking a lifestyle in which golf is a major component.  My wife Connie and I own a home in Connecticut (not on a golf course) and a condo at Pawleys Plantation in Pawleys Island, SC, on a Jack Nicklaus layout.  We began our search for our home on the course more than 15 years ago, and the challenges of the search inspired me to research golf communities and write objective reviews of them.


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