Big-money Texans move into The Cliffs Communities

Urbana Communities is a ”joint venture” partner with The Cliffs, raising the question of who might finish the Tiger Woods golf course and community at High Carolina.

Palm Coast, FL – January 15, 2011 – All the leverage in the current real estate development market, with money as tight as it is, is with the lender, if you can find one.  The Cliffs Communities has found one to help them restructure their short-term debt, and the fact that the “lender” is another upscale group of communities raises some questions about who might finish the Tiger Woods golf course and community at High Carolina.
“We were in the capital markets, looking for an aligned investor for working capital and to facilitate a restructuring of our debt,” wrote Cliffs Chief Financial Officer Timothy Cherry to the communities’ residents.  The announcement that Texas-based Urbana Communities had become the Cliffs “strategic joint venture” partner just weeks after Cliffs management decided to halt construction on the Tiger Woods golf course and clubhouse at High Carolina may be a hint that Urbana could eventually take over that troubled piece of property.  Shortly after the initial sales offerings at High Carolina, the housing market tanked; later, the well-publicized infidelities of the course’s designer made a difficult job of selling property nearly impossible.  A few weeks ago, The Cliffs announced they were suspending construction of the Tiger Woods golf course indefinitely; the Gary Player course at Mountain Park, the seventh in The Cliffs portfolio, will be completed on schedule later this year.
Urbana, like The Cliffs, develops upscale communities, all of them in Texas.  “…there is no change of control of The Cliffs,” Mr. Cherry wrote to residents, “and there is no impact to ClubCo,” the name of the residents’ group that loaned The Cliffs $60 million last year to complete construction of a long roster of promised amenities.
“Urbana values the brand, the lifestyle and the communities of The Cliffs,” wrote Cherry  — perhaps enough to someday soon take over the development of High Carolina and the Tiger Woods course.  Residents and club members we have spoken with think seven fine and expensive-to-maintain golf courses are more than enough.
From: Golf Community Reviews [January 13, 2011]
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