Admire him or despise him. Nobody is neutral on developer Bobby Ginn. Now he shares the fate of many of his customers who didn’t, or couldn’t, get out at the right time.
Palm Coast, FL, – March 25, 2014 – High profile real estate developer Bobby Ginn’s 5,730 square foot home and 1,532 square foot guest house on the Intracoastal Waterway in the private community of Island Estates, Flagler County, FL, are scheduled to be sold at a foreclosure sale July 7, 2014. A second Ginn-owned vacant residential lot in Island Estates is in the final stages of the foreclosure process.
Ginn purchased the homesteaded double-lot property at 42 Island Estates in 2004 for $2,500,000. Subsequently, he added an 8,740 square foot brick driveway, a boat dock and a 4,500 square foot pool complex. Bobby’s first hiccup related to the Island Estates home was in June 2010 when a tax certificate (property tax lien) was issued for an unpaid amount of $49,991.58. The certificate was soon redeemed. Subsequent property tax bills, including 2013, have been paid promptly.
The present foreclosure case was initiated by SunTrust in 2013. The Consent Final Judgment of Foreclosure was filed on March 6, 2014 in the amount of $1,834,724.71. The Notice of Foreclosure Sale was issued the same day. The 2013 Just (Market) Value of the property is $2,353,464 per the Flagler County Property Appraiser.
Foreclosure proceedings on the vacant residential lot at 51 Island Estates Pkwy were also initiated in 2013. Final Judgment in the amount of $1,410,097.48 was filed January 23, 2014. No Notice of Foreclosure Sale has been filed. The lot’s just value is $146,000, well below the final judgment amount, perhaps accounting for the fact that the lender, SunTrust Bank, has yet to move for a sale.
Not many are neutral on Bobby Ginn. Like the New York Yankees, he's either loved or reviled. He is one of those larger than life individuals. Often found in jeans and cowboy boots, he loves the good life; in high cotton. With his Carolina low-country drawl and laid-back demeanor, Bobby peddled his lifestyle vision to thousands, selling highly amenitized luxury residential communities and resorts to thousands of eager buyers. He became the poster boy for the turn of the decade real estate boom and its subsequent bust.
Bobby's sales organization boasted of selling over 10,000 properties totaling $5.5 billion dollars over a seven-year stretch. Customers literally lined up to plunk down money for a chance to buy a lot or condo at one of his lavish Priority Selection Events; the real estate equivalent of a Viagra party.
He had the Midas touch; turning dirt into gold. In fact, he did just that for many who bought into his early developments; the Hammock Beach Club on the Atlantic coast in Palm Coast and Reunion Resort in Orlando.
A core group of investors bought properties at pre-release prices and then profited by flipping them. Buoyed by the wave of early Florida successes, Bobby took on an aura of invincibility. It was an aura easily projected to potential buyers because Bobby believed it so fervently himself. The success story spread and the investor pool swelled. It was the Wild West and the gold rush was on.
"Bobby Ginn is moving more dirt in this hemisphere than anybody," a Ginn Real Estate Sales representative bragged in early 2007. He was said to have 40,000 acres under development or in the planning stages at that time. Bobby hosted a PGA Champions Tour event at his Oceanside Hammock Beach Resort. The event's $1.2 million purse was the year's richest on that tour. It featured an outdoors Vince Gill concert simulcast on the high definition screen covering one side of the circling Ginn Blimp. The blimp was the latest arrival in a fleet of company aircraft sporting the Ginn Logo.
But when the music stopped, all the chairs were gone. Many of Bobby’s customers lost money, some their life’s savings. A series of lawsuits were spawned. Although Bobby (along with his financial partner Lubert-Adler) prevailed in many of the cases, cumulative legal expenses mounted.
And there were losses. Bobby’s failed foray into NASCR racing resulted in $1,725,000 judgment in favor of HMS Holdings (Hendrick Motorsport) which, in turn, resulted in the Sheriff’s sale of Bobby’s Colorado condominium in 2010. Likely the straw that broke the camel’s back was the lawsuit brought by the trustee in the Tesoro bankruptcy case which resulted in a $25,000,000 settlement in favor of the Plaintiff and against Ginn and Lubert-Adler.
Many of Bobby Ginn’s developments failed or are floundering. And there are still active lawsuits. But Bobby’s local successes outweigh his failures. Many do not know that he was involved in the early development of Grand Haven until its purchase by Landmar. He went on to develop the successful Hammock Beach Resort and bought the golf course that Lowe Development built there. Yacht Harbor Village and The Conservatory are showing increased construction activity, but The Gardens never got off the ground.
The door is closing on the Palm Coast chapter of the rise and fall of The GINNdom. But long after Bobby has left the local scene, his legacy will remain; both his accomplishments and his mistakes. And locals will always refer to the Sundancer yacht as “the Ginn boat.”
UPDATE: Subsequent to this article, the mortgage on Bobby's home was brought into compliance. The scheduled foreclosure sale was cancelled.