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Friday, November 14, 2008

Is foul odor of market slowdown hanging over Tennessee National?

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    I wrote here last Saturday about properties at Tennessee National, the Greg Norman golf community near Knoxville and about what seemed like a reasonably priced Discovery Package.  Emails to two of the marketing and

A slow market and local mushroom farm are stinking things up for Tennessee National.

sales associates at Tennessee National have gone unanswered; I wanted to know simply if the $149 two-day/one-night Discovery Package included a round of golf on the excellent Norman course.  I figured the lack of a response might signal that sales traffic was brisk and the sales associates were just too busy to respond within a week.
    Not so, according to one of our readers, after she read my article, and to a group of folks who live in the Knoxville area.
    "They have stopped all plans for amenities until the market has improved," wrote our reader, who was happy to be able to sell a piece of investment property at Tennessee National a few months ago.  "They are located near a mushroom farm which exudes a bad odor now and...Greg Norman [may have] ditched this project."
    I trust the opinion of our readers but I wanted to do a little further independent digging.  I posted a query at the Knoxville forum of City-Data.com, a web site that can be helpful in terms of local knowledge around the nation if you take what is said with a grain of salt.  Some people have axes to grind with a particular community, but I found these responses to my question quite balanced.
    "Promises were made to build a marina, golf pro shop, and club," wrote someone with the screen name OldManBob, who indicated he is not a resident of Tennessee National, "[but] nothing yet, and many lots are not selling."
    "Too large, too extravagant, overshot their budget on infrastructure
Builders were obligated to buy multiple lots and build spec homes, which now are sitting unsold.

up-front costs, now they don't have money to build their 'promised' amenities," wrote another local, "because the lots aren't moving and they don't have capital."  However, the same writer added, "It can be a gorgeous development" and they have started to "cut the road down to the boat dock and marina."  However, the writer adds, no construction equipment is present at the marina site.
    "One problem Tennessee National has," according to another City-Data contributor, "is that builders were obligated to buy multiple lots and build spec houses.  Neither the houses or (sic) lots have sold and since most are small builders, they are facing a real cash crunch.  I look for there to be some who just walk away, and there will be a bunch of lots (and spec houses as well) going into forclosure (sic)."
    A resident of the nearby sprawling (5,000 acre) community known as Tellico Village (with three 18-hole golf courses), named for the huge lake that was created by the Tennessee Valley Authority controlled flooding 40 years ago, echoed a cautionary note about amenities that you will find me harping about often in this space.
    "...we are pretty much sold on Tellico Village, if you want a golf/lake community," he wrote. "We know that these sort of things [unfilled promises] happen with planned developments when the economy changes.  At TV [Tellico Village], all the amenities are in place and the development and its association are mature and operating in the black for years.
    "They continue to upgrade and expand facilities," he added, "as the community grows, so it doesn't look old or raggedy.  And I think you get more for your money when you buy a resale home."
    "You don't get to custom design it, but I can live with that."
    Wisdom from the front lines of home ownership.

 

If you would like to read the full discussion at City-Data, click here.

Read 4539 times Last modified on Friday, 27 September 2013 11:29
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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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