Changes Reported at Ginn’s Cobblestone Park

Events at this Ginn community near Columbia SC may foretell changes at other Ginn communities.

Palm Coast, Florida – November 10, 2008 – Recent changes at Cobblestone Park, a gated golfing  community in Blythewood, near Columbia SC may be a harbinger of things to come at other Ginn communities as Bobby Ginn struggles with financial problems.
As he did with Quail West near Naples, FL, BriarRose in Georgia, and Burke Mountain in Vermont, Bobby purchased Cobblestone Park from the original developers when the market was hot. Sales dried up and development stalled. Many property owners became upset with the lack of progress and escalating owner fees. The fact that Ginn owned the security company and reportedly had ties to the landscaping maintenance company fueled property owners’ ire. Ginn’s lack of forthright communications did not help.
Meanwhile, things were not going well in the GINNdom. Bobby’s lavish spending style was at odds with the downturn in the real estate market. His financial partner, Lubert-Adler (the LA in Ginn-LA), stepped in, inserting Robert Gidel as president of the Ginn organization (story). Some things changed quickly. Bobby’s association with NASCAR ended. The Ginn Blimp was sold and there were staff cutbacks. But operational changes became apparent only within the past few months.
Property owners in Cobblestone Park tell me that recent changes there are viewed positively, but with conditioned skepticism. They see a light at the end of the tunnel. Here is what has happened:
  • Linger Longer, the well known and respected developer of Reynolds Plantation was brought in by Lubert-Adler to operate Cobblestone Park and guide future development (story).
  • The Ginn sales office is closed. Sales will be handled by another party.
  • Lubert-Adler has "retracted" the bloated 2009 POA budget that Ginn had proposed. All contracts including security, landscaping and the new clubhouse are being re- bid.
  • Affinity Golf is operating the golf course.
  • The Ginn name no longer appears on the Cobblestone website.
  • It’s difficult to find mention of Cobblestone Park on Ginn’s websites.
  • Lubert-Adler is calling the shots
The changes at Cobblestone Park are similar to changes made at The BriarRose.They signal a dismantling of Ginn’s vertically integrated organization which included security, hospitality, housekeeping, landscaping, sales, sports, and finance. It also signals a de-branding or de-emphasis on the Ginn name as a brand. Without the Ginn name, each development would stand on its own, making it easier for Ginn-LA to sell, an action that may become necessary due to Ginn-LA’s high cash burn rate. It’s expensive to run amenities under-supported by underuse, unpaid dues and the lack of real estate sales. Ginn-LA will need to replenish their cash coffers.
3 replies
  1. George Meegan
    George Meegan says:

    Better than bankruptcy

    The lien holders are moving in and claiming the assets just as a judge would order in a bankruptcy. The smartest move they could make, as no resistance is comming from Bobby, as he knows he’s saving lawyer fees and paying off loans as the assets are transfered by takeover. The deal was made back in July when the sky was falling on Bobby and he, again spun the settlement, as the courts have done for him in the past, at a much higher cost. The rest of the Ginndom will follow until the name Ginn becomes, Bobby who? All will be better off with rebidding contracts and changing restrictions that funneled money to the the bottom of the verticaly intregrated (pyramid) debacle.

  2. West End, Grand Bahama
    West End, Grand Bahama says:

    The End is Near for Ginn

    It is obviously very clear that the end is near for Ginn. Had Bobby Ginn been more straightforward and righteous with U.S. Ginn property owners and other people caught up in many of his illegal land acquisitions perhaps these things might not be happenning to his company. He has burned so many bridges that he may never may it back to the other side of what could have been a very successful company. Fast greed is never good. Take a close look at yourself in the mirror Mr. Ginn and do the right thing to all of the people you have screwed including the Bahamian family in West End that your lawyers are trying to annihilate. You are one pitiful person.

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