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Lubert-Adler Sells Off Bella Collina, another Bobby Ginn Development

Best described as ''The Conservatory on steroids,'' Bella Collina combines a Tuscan themed clubhouse, a Faldo-designed golf course and over 800 homesites. The buyer plans to re-launch the project.

By Toby Tobin
Bella Collina clubhousePalm Coast, FL – August 20, 2012 – Philadelphia-based real estate investment company Lubert-Adler parted with another Bobby Ginn-developed project recently by selling private golfing community Bella Collina to DCS Investment Holdings, a private investment firm based in West Palm Beach. DCS purchased the remaining developer-owned building lots, the golf course and clubhouse as well as the developer rights.
While no total sales price was released, Lake County public records indicate DCS paid $3,750,000 to Ginn-LA Pine Island Ltd., LLLP for the lots and Ginn Bella Collina Golf, LLC $6,250,000 for the golf course and clubhouse. The original construction cost of the clubhouse alone is reported to be $40 million.
For those familiar with Ginn's developments in Palm Coast, Bella Collina is best described as "The Conservatory on steroids." At launch, during the height of the housing bubble, Bella Collina was envisioned as an 1,800-acre private golfing community of more than 800 multi-million dollar homes. But when the bubble burst, investor/buyers were left high and dry with no one to flip to. Only 40 homes have been built to date. The promised sporting complex and docks on Lake Apopka were never built. Most Bella Collina lots have gone through foreclosure.
In the years preceding Bella Collina's launch, Lake County had reportedly averaged only 20 annual homes sales for $1 million or more, indicating that the original Bella Collina vision was too optimistic.
DCS plans to re-launch Bella Collina later this year. Plans include the addition of a resort-style swimming pool complex and fitness center convenient to the clubhouse and additional banquet facilities for 400 guests. Bella Collina hosted more than 60 weddings in the past year and is looking to expand its wedding offerings in the future.
Architectural and landscaping requirements will be reviewed and adjusted to a lower price point, one more consistent with the current market. Golf membership options have already been adjusted. Dues have been reduced and outside members may join. Existing members can transfer their memberships.
No home or lot pricing model has been announced, but prices are expected to be in line with the current market. Palm Beach Gardens-based Illustrated Properties is handling sales and marketing. An on-site sales office will be opened soon.
Bella Collina will be a stand-alone community, with no reciprocity with Reunion Resort or other Ginn-LA-developed communities.
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Don "Toby" Tobin is a licensed real estate professional affiliated with Grand Living Realty. Toby is a member of the Flagler County Association of Realtors®, the Florida Association of Realtors, Enterprise Flagler, Flagler Home Builders Association, and the National Association of Realtors.

GoToby.com proivdes real estate news, commentary, and analysis for Palm Coast and Flagler Country Florida, as well as Realtor® referrals and consultation to buyers, sellers, and developers.