Developers shield their projects, one from the other, by setting up separate legal entities. If one project fails, it does not affect the assets of the others. But are there other reasons?
Palm Coast, Florida – June 25, 2009 – The recent Crescent Resources LLC bankruptcy included 120 separate but related legal entities or subsidiaries. Several, including Landmar Group LLC, the areas second largest real estate developer, are associated with properties in the Palm Coast area. The Grand Haven Golf Course and The Grand Club’s three courses (Pines, Cypress, and Matanzas) were long thought to be part of the Crescent/Landmar umbrella. Yet Crescent claims the golf properties are not part of the bankruptcy. The further GoToby.com digs, the more obscure the relationship between the entities becomes.
When Crescent Resources LLC filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy June 10th, not many folks in Palm Coast noticed. That’s because they didn’t know that Crescent is the parent company of Landmar. They also were probably unaware that Crescent is a joint venture of Duke Energy and the Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund. I live in Grand Haven, one of Palm Coast’s Landmar developments. My home backs to the golf course where I am also a member. I have a stake in what happens to the golf course as do all residents of Grand Haven. The golf course adds value to everyone’s property. So it’s natural that I would want to find out how the Grand Haven golf course escaped the bankruptcy.
I discovered that Flagler County records show the Grand Haven golf course is owned by Crescent Resources Inc., not Crescent Resources LLC. Naturally, I wanted to know about Crescent Resources Inc. Both Crescent Resources Inc and Crescent Resources LLC share the same address in Charlotte, N.C. Duke Energy is headquartered in Charlotte. I also discovered that Crescent Resources Inc filed a voluntary withdrawal of its Florida corporate status in March 2001in which it states it is "no longer transacting business or conducting affairs in the state of Florida…" The withdrawal document describes Crescent Resources Inc as a South Carolina corporation. Interestingly, S.C. records show that Crescent Resources Inc was merged into Crescent Resources of Georgia LLC in 2000. Crescent/Georgia LLC is among the listed entities in the bankruptcy filing.
MG Orander president of Hampton Golf, the company that manages and operates the four golf courses for Crescent (or whomever) assured me that the four local courses were not part of the bankruptcy but was unable to clarify the ownership of the courses. A NY City-based public relations firm hired by Crescent to handle media questions related to the bankruptcy also confirmed the four courses were not included in the bankruptcy. When pressed to clarify the ownership of the Grand Haven golf course however, the spokesperson (speaking for a "relatively high ranking source") told me that Crescent neither needed nor wanted to disclose the ownership of the golf course.
The property taxes for the Grand Haven golf course remain unpaid for the 2008 tax year. They were paid by LandMar Group LLC in 2007. The 2008 Grand Club property taxes also remain unpaid.
Florida Department of State records for The Grand Club LLC show the same N.C. address as the two Crescents. As an LLC, it lists LandMar Management LLC as Manager and Hampton Golf Inc as Manager/Member. Grand Haven Golf Club LLC shares The Grand Club’s N.C. address and Member/Managers.
Florida lists two officers of Hampton Golf, Inc. – MG Orender and Ed Burr (founder of LandMar). Burr no longer is employed by LandMar. The corporate address for LandMar Management LLC is the same N.C. address as the two Crescents and The Grand Club. As an LLC it lists Crescent Resources LLC as Manager. LandMar Management LLC is one of the 120 entities listed in the bankruptcy filing as are the following:
LandMar Group LLC
Grand Haven Developers LLC – Developer of Grand Haven Community, several developer-owned parcels remain
The Reserve LLC – owner of Grand Landing residential development, south of the Flagler Co. airport
Grand Woods Developers LLC – owns property for residential development north of and adjacent to the Matanzas Golf Course
Grand Haven Golf Club LLC
Roberts Road LLC – owns property entitled for residential development on both sides of Roberts Road near the Sea Ray Plant
Lighthouse Harbor Developers LLC – small parcel near old Lehigh Cement plant off Roberts Road. Once held larger option with plans to develop a marina/condo complex
Colbert Lane Commercial LLC – owns commercially zoned property on the west side of Colbert Lane north of Wild Oaks
LandMar Management LLC
So, under which shell is the pea? And why don’t they want us to know? Certainly the creditors of Crescent Resources LLC and its subsidiaries would want to know. Members of Grand Haven and The Grand Club want to know too. In the recent bankruptcy of the Ginn Company’s Tesoro golf club, members were left holding the bag. The bankruptcy dissolved their "refundable" membership deposits, totaling several thousand dollars each. Grand Haven and Grand Club members have paid deposits also. What entity is holding them?
So many questions. So few answers.
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This is exactly why our entire lagal system needs an overhaul. !8,000 companies in one building in the Grand Caymens. Tiger woods 165′ Yacht, with home port of Georgetown, C.I. Why do courts allow the scum of the earth attoorneys to ctraet all thse shell corporations. The simple answer is to allow Dukes Energy, et all, to suck out profits in good times and walkaway from responsibilities when times turn dow. Lehman Brothers did the same thing. GM only included US operations to enter Chapter 11, profitable subsidiaries where excluded.
This is why we need to overhaul these systems, if we don’t do this quickly, some people are going to take arms and start handing out justice in the manner that these scumbag corporations never envisioned.
Must have have graduated with honors from the Ginn school of development , sales and deposit swipe with graduate degree in loan swindle / tesoro victim
In the3 early 70’s I sold financing to industrial clients. This was the last great recession in property investment in Atlanta. Many of our customers were partly owned by big development companies or owned development companies. When the economy went south so did payments from our customers. I was assigned to research it. Nothing has changed.
I have it from a very reliable inside source that the Grand Haven course may be available for sale in three weeks. I have a potential buyer waiting.
Yes it is a shell game that our system allows to happen so land development can thrive and drive property taxes. The system also cushions the fall of the development economy and we foot the bill.
While lawyers and developers are high on the list of culprits, at the very top of the list are elected officials who have given developers carte blanche to convert our environment into strip malls, cookie cutter instant slums and pretentious McMansions.
Instead of more development, there should be moratorium on further development until the huge inventory of unsold houses and empty store fronts and offices are reduced by at least half.
West of the bridge in Flagler Beach, we traded one super market for another leaving the former a derelict probably for years to come.
West of the new supermarket we can look forward to three and four story apartments to be built for workforce, read welfare, residents.
Along John Anderson we traded an avenue of beautiful trees for huge piles of dirt now sprouting two and three foot high vegetation. With any luck it’ll be a new growth forest before anything gets built along there.
At least, <i>all</i> the trees on Roberts Road haven’t been cut down yet. Thank God for small favors.
Hey Toby-What do you know about this comment by Gibson —
"I have it from a very reliable inside source that the Grand Haven course may be available for sale in three weeks. I have a potential buyer waiting."
What happened to my comment?
Reply to erp
Perhaps this tree loss and more is one of the the saddest in the area since this Palm Coast Resort was specifically built around nature.
The Sheraton Palm Coast Resort #2
If we have used the word beautiful too many time, forgive us. But with regards to the new Sheraton Palm Coast Resort – 154 rooms overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway, its forested shore and the Palm Coast Marina, – we have little choice but to use it again. Here is a Hotel that reflects the high standard of the Community around it. —> Nature played an integral role in its design; virtually all trees on the site were preserved; the lobby literally was built around the Oaks and palms- rising through the roof inside a glass-enclosed courtyard. The waterfront views seen from every room are the kind for which you stand several minutes and admire.<—– The service is pure Sheraton, the atmosphere vintage Palm Coast. We walk inside through the decor of early Florida elegance, and see meeting and banquet rooms for up to 400 people…visiting conferences for local clubs, the perfect setting for either. We make plans to meet after our tour, for local seafood, steaks, or fowl at Flagler’s Restaurant, for a bit of relaxation later in Henry’s Good Spirits. The pool out back looks inviting, the scenery, both beside the pool and beyond it, makes us wish we had packed our swimsuits. All the while we are treated like royalty, just another word for guest in the Sheraton tradition of hospitality. Of course the tradition continues off the hotel grounds…at Palm Coast Golf Courses, the Players Club, other amenities and around town. In fact between the scenery and friendly atmosphere, a few days at the new Sheraton Palm Coast Resort might be described as…hmmmm. yes…the perfect word…Beautiful…
The Palm Coaster, Spring 1987, page 5.
( For the new arrivals, this Palm Coast Resort was the place everyone took * MOM * for Mothers Day; also the Pavilions on the Intracoastal regularly had Bar-B-Ques with a ‘Buck’ Beer and Hotdog!) It is sorely missed.
George Edward Chuddy
I live in River Hall a Landmar community in the Fort Myers area included in the filings. We have previously formed a committee to try and open communication between the
resident members and Landmar. It has been extremely difficult and now nothing as they refuse to meet or share any info. Anything you find out would be helpful to us .feel free to call me for some items to look into.
Grand Haven & Matanzas Woods
At least Grand Haven is still a playable course. Be glad! Matanzas has deteriorated beyond words. What used to be one of Palmer’s nicer courses in Palm Coast is now an eyesore. I live on the third hole, a par three, which has a small pond in back. Not only is the course in awful shape but the pond is starting to scum over and I’m sure will be foul smelling soon. Who knows what lives in the tall grass. What can we do as homeowners? Put pressure on our local politions to have Landmar mow the Grass? Have them clean the ponds? I hope Grand Haveners don’t have to experience the shameful events we at Matanzas Woods continue to endure.
Heard there’s a new proposed buyer for Ospry Cove. Possibly a Forida Management Co. Have heard any rumors.
Any chance you can give me the name of all 120 entities in the Cresent family. I really would appreciate it. Great job by the way.
An unhappy Cresent customer in Lakeland Fl,
Reply to Golf 1
There are a couple of parties talking about buying the Grand Haven golf course. To the best of my knowledge, there is no deal pending.
Reply to erp
A moratorium would cause more problems that it will solve.
Please read my Commentary entitled Who’s to Blame for the Real Estate Bubble?
Response to Jack
I understand your concerns. They should be addressed to the Palm Coast Code Enforcement Dept. If the property owner is not complying, the city can take punitive action.