Gulf Shores Bon Secour Village

  wooded lots in gulf shores  
Virtual Tour
lots for sale in gulf shores

Read the Latest

Opps !

According to the a Dec. 30, 2007 article in the newspaper, Mobile Register, there are problems in 'River City':


Bank sues developers of Bon Secour Village at Gulf

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Wachovia Bank has sued the developers of the 1,000-acre Bon Secour Village development, claiming they have defaulted on a $20.36 million loan from the North Carolina-based lender.

Billed as a town-within-a-town, Bon Secour Village is planned along a swath of piney woods on the north side of the Intracoastal

Waterway in Gulf Shores. Its developers, already fighting among themselves in state court, now face foreclosure on about 900 acres they've assembled for the project.
According to the latest suit, filed earlier this month in Mobile's federal court, Wachovia lent the developers -- a quintet operating under the name Bon Secour Village LLC -- the money to buy 26 acres on the Intracoastal Waterway and 880 acres on the north side of Waterway Boulevard West, as well as cash to construct a 3,500-square-foot sales office and a 60-slip marina.

Claiming in the Dec. 17 lawsuit that it has not received a payment from the developers since June, Wachovia seeks $21.2 million, which equals the loan balance plus late fees and interest. The bank also wants the developers to pay its legal expenses and notes in the suit that interest is piling up at a rate of nearly $4,000 a day.

Bon Secour Village LLC counts as its members Birmingham builder Clint Guthrie, Atlanta-based developer and racecar driver Rick Skelton, Cullman brothers and real estate investors Eddie and Josh Canaday, and Michael Knight of Destin. Skelton and Guthrie could not be reached for comment last week. Messages left with the Canadays' Cullman office were not returned as of Friday, nor were those left late last week with attorneys representing the bank and the developers.

In 2004, the men, self-proclaimed "town founders," began pitching plans for a $500 million-dollar resort community that combined an Old World town center, manicured open spaces, small shops and residences that stretched across the economic spectrum from multimillion-dollar houses to downtown condos and apartments for students of the adjacent Faulkner State Community College campus.

It might take decades before the community would be built out, they said, but they were well-funded and their "new urbanism" design philosophies and dedication to using Alabama builders and craftsmen was a can't-miss combination.

At the time, the high-end real estate market on Baldwin County's beaches was scorching hot. The notion of transforming 1,000 acres of scrubby forest along a manmade industrial canal into an idealistic community seemed on par with the other development plans being pitched in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, particularly along the Intracoastal Waterway.

In the summer of 2005, they sold through an auction 40 homes sites and 40 condos. Prices for the condos averaged $560,000 and the lots generally went in the $450,000 range. Probate records indicate that most of the lot sales have closed. But the condos were never started, and the design plans that were approved by the Gulf Shores City Council expired in April 2006.

So far, the sales center has opened and the marina has been built, but aside from a handful of high-end houses, there is little evidence that development of a town is under way.

This summer, Coastal Living magazine selected a home on the site to feature in its pages as an "idea cottage." The 3,500-square-foot ode to Arcadian stylings -- about $2 million furnished -- was open for tours through October and a 1/8-interest in the home can be had for $279,000.

Though the builders have been relatively slow, the lawyers have not.
n September, Guthrie sued his partners in state court, claiming that they were hiding the project's financial details from him and trying to "squeeze" him out. He claimed his partners owed him $710,000, lied to him about their net worth, and misspent money borrowed to build Bon Secour Village.

The partners have yet to address those allegations in court. Lawyers for both sides told the Press-Register in late October that they planned to settle the suit out of court and that the litigation likely would not affect the development.

At the moment, that case is stalled in a dispute over which county it should be heard in. Guthrie filed the lawsuit in Shelby County, but the defendants argue that proceedings should take place in Cullman County, where the Canadays reside and where Bon Secour Village LLC was founded.

In its lawsuit, Wachovia notes the partners' "infighting," claiming that it has not been able to, nor does it foresee, reaching a repayment plan with all five men. The partners' disagreements also affect their ability to "efficiently manage and operate" Bon Secour Village and could diminish property value, the bank argues in its complaint.

To that end, Wachovia has asked U.S. District Judge Kristi DuBose to remove the developers from control of Bon Secour Village and install as its head Jeffrey Granger, a Florida businessman who has expertise in turning around companies.

Granger, the managing director of Tampa, Fla.,-based Focus Management Group USA Inc., said in an affidavit that he has 20 years' experience in "finance, operations and turnaround management" as well as a decade spent operating companies under court protection. For his services, Granger said, he charges $350 an hour, excluding expenses and legal fees.



Click here to see photos taken on February 8, 2007

Coastal Living Idea House

July 29, 2005 Newspaper Report on Sales.



© Fort Morgan Web Development Inc
Contact Webmaster

Privacy Policy