Palm Coast Holdings Closing Palm Coast Office

The parent company of the developer of Town Center has decided to exit the real estate business in Florida. Seven employees will be affected by the March 31st closing.

PALM COAST, FL – January 31, 2017 – Palm Coast Holdings, successor to ITT and developer of Town Center and Palm Coast Park, will close their office permanently on March 31, 2017. The decision was made recently, and unexpectedly, by Palm Coast Holding’s parent company. Seven employees will be affected. Going forward, Allete’s Florida assets will be managed for sale by the Carter Douglas Company.

Palm Coast Holdings is controlled by Allete Properties LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Allete, Inc., a Duluth, Minnesota based company that also owns Minnesota Power which provides electric utility service to northern Minnesota.  

In 1996, the company first acquired property in Flagler County from ITT, including developed residential lots, developed and undeveloped commercial and industrial parcels and approximately 13,000 acres of agriculturally zoned property.  In 1999 and 2000, the company acquired an additional 6,800 undeveloped acres in Flagler County and in 2001, it acquired another 6,400 undeveloped acres in Flagler County and Volusia County.

Palm Coast Holdings disposed of the residential lots and concentrated on planning, entitling and site development of large commercial and mixed-use developments, primarily Town Center and Palm Coast Park. Both projects were stalled by the real estate crash a decade ago. By 2009, Palm Coast Holdings was informed that Allete would make no further investments locally.

Palm Coast Holdings began efforts to sell local assets, which by this time, also included two Volusia County assets; Ormond Crossings, an expansive multi-use master planned community straddling Interstate 95 south of US 1 and a 1,890-acre wetlands mitigation bank (Lake Swamp Mitigation Bank). Ormond Crossings was titled under Tomoka Holdings LLC, another Allete subsidiary not to be confused with Consolidated Tomoka Land Company.

Efforts to sell were hampered by the high book value of the assets until 2015, when Allete wrote down the assets by $50M. Both Volusia County assets were sold in 2016, reducing Allete’s local assets by about 50%.

Allete created several subsidiaries in Flagler and Volusia Counties. Palm Coast Holdings is the brokerage arm and holds some land in Town Center. Other subsidiaries’ primary role is to hold assets. Among them are Florida Landmark Communities LLC, Palm Coast Land LLC, Allete Commercial and Tomoka Holdings.

Town Center

Town Center is a 1,557-acre mixed-use master planned development begun more than ten years ago. Development of Town Center stalled with the onset of the Great Recession and accompanying real estate crash. However, several perimeter sections have been successfully developed. Healthcare and elderly care facilities dominate Town Center's east side, "big box" retail (anchored by Target) occupies the southwest section (at Belle Terre at SR 100), and a Publix-anchored plaza on Belle Terre thrives at the west entrance to Town Center.

An Epic Theater, a large commercial office building and a charter school were lonely sentinels in the project’s interior until joined by Palm Coast’s new City Hall in 2016. Regional builder ICI Homes has put several residential Town Center parcels under contract. These parcels will likely be developed as town homes, row homes or patio homes. The additional rooftops will likely spur renewed commercial development in Town Center.



Town Center in Palm Coast - Google Earth

Palm Coast Park

Palm Coast Park consisted of 4,700 acres on either side of US Highway 1 between Palm Coast Pkwy and Old Kings Rd. Like Town Center, Palm Coast Park is a mixed-use master planned community. Anyone driving along this stretch of US 1 will notice the multi-use paths with attractive wooden walkovers wetlands on either side of the highway, but little else. The project is primed to take advantage of the projected commercial development expected over the next five to ten years along the US 1 corridor.


Other remaining holdings

Allete has substantial commercial and residential-entitled holdings between Colbert lane and Roberts Road and along Seminole Woods near the Flagler Executive Airport.


While painful for the affected employees, upcoming changes will likely have a positive impact on Flagler County. Allete’s exit is not based on a fundamental weakness in the local economy going forward. The decision was made by an out-of-state company that has not visited Palm Coast in years.

Ironically, it is not the first time an energy company's subsidiary has left Flagler County. Landmar Group, purchased Grand Haven from Lowe Development at the turn of the century. They subsequently purchased three local golf courses (The Grand Club) and began to develop Grand Landings, a residential development south of the Flagler County Executive Airport. Landmar was a subsidiary of Crescent Resources, the real estate arm of North Carolina-based Duke Energy.

Before Landmar and Crescent Resources were forced into bankruptcy by the real estate crash, Duke divested itself of 51% of Crescent Resources. Why? Because the real estate company had been too profitable. It was upsetting Duke Energy’s income statement and therefore placing Duke Energy’s classification as an “energy” company at risk. A change in classification would have negatively affected Duke’s ability to sell bonds. Hence the divestiture. We may never know what was behind Allete’s decision.

Real estate investors are used to seeing developers come and go through the life of a large project. Over the life of Palm Coast, there have been several ups and downs, though none like the Great Recession. Investors’ capital either gains leverage or loses leverage as the business cycle rises and falls. These fluctuations are predictable, like death and taxes, but their timing is not. believes that Flagler County’s economy and its real estate market have moved into a very positive phase, one likely to last three to five years or more. This new growth will be driven by end-user residents, the products of a steadily growing population, rather than the speculators that spawned the housing bubble.

Palm Coast Holding’s successor will benefit for two reasons; 1.) Their timing will be excellent, and 2.) Their cost basis will be lower than Allete’s, giving them an opportunity for substantial return on their investment. Think of it as turning over old, tired capital in favor of new, fresher capital, not unlike the way farmers plow last year’s crop under to enrich the soil to nurture next year’s crop.

Palm Coast Holdings took Palm Coast to the next level, while honoring ITT's vision. They were good stewards of the land. Most importantly, they did not bail out when things got tough. My hat is off to them.

3 replies
  1. George Edward Chuddy
    George Edward Chuddy says:

    A step back in time – I.T.T.s and Levitts’ Vision

    1974 – A step back in time – I.T.T.’s ‘ Vision ‘ for ‘ The Palm Coast Project ‘ – the largest planned Community in the Nation; the largest New Town in the World…

    The luxury, splendor and joys of good living are all yours at Palm Club. This magnificent condominium is located at Palm Coast, one of Florida’s most exciting new communities; a wonderland of sparkling beaches, green woods, wild flowers, lakes and streams. It is a water-oriented community with more than five miles of sparkling beach along the Atlantic Ocean and over 17 miles along the Intracoastal Waterway. Here, you can experience the joy and pleasure of living close to nature in an uncrowded, spacious atmosphere. At the same time you can also enjoy the convenience of being within easy reach of diverse shopping facilities, fine restaurants and year-round entertainment.

    There are many things to see and do in the nearby area. Daytona, with its world-famous speedway and its busy night life is only 24 miles to the south. And just 26 miles north, you’ll find charming Saint Augustine, the oldest city in the nation with its famous restorations, quaint shops and cheery little side streets looking much the same as it did in the 17th Century.

    The location of Palm Club within the Palm Coast community is a dream come true. One one side, the rolling greens of the Palm Coast Golf Course stretch out before you creating a feeling of spaciousness. On the other side, canals dotted with boats sailing by furnish a marvelous view. And all around a combination of natural greenery and fine landscaping bring nature close to you and provide both esthetic beauty and a welcomed feeling of privacy.
    As an owner of a Palm Club condominium, you can enjoy some of the most extensive recreational facilities on Florida’s northeast coast. All of Palm Coast’s amenities are open to you including immediate membership in the Golf and Yacht Clubs at low resident rates. The golfer can take special delight in the fact that the place he calls home is just a short walk away from Palm Coast’s 18 hole Championship Golf Course. This ” Magnificent Monster ” with its great trees, water hazards and well-placed traps has been acclaimed by touring pros as one of the finest courses in all of Florida and is the site of the Annual Palm Coast Open on the P.G.A. Winter Tour.

    For tennis enthusiasts, courts with the latest synthetic surfaces are available within easy walking distance from your front door. About a half-mail down the road, you’ll find the Palm coast Yacht Club with excellent facilities and a delightful array of diversions. There are two main dining rooms, a bar, lounge and huge game room designed in an intriguing African motif. Outside the clubhouse, there’s a Junior Olympic size swimming pool that is often the site of swimming meets held as part of Palm Coast’s Community activities program. There’s also a gigantic sundeck, 2 tennis courts and a 75 slip marina that acts as a welcome ” oasis ” for boats passing by .
    If fishing is your ” thing,” this part of the country is a veritable paradise. Whiting, channel bass, bluefish and pompano are regularly caught in the area and there’s an awesome variety of big game waiting for the adventurous angler in the cobalt blue waters off shore.
    In addition to all of these amenities offered at Palm Coast, your Palm Club condominium will offer you your own recreation center including swimming pool, sundeck and game room.
    As an owner of a Palm Club condominium, you will receive a warranty deed giving you full title to your residence. You can forget about maintenance, painting, fighting weeds, mowing lawns and all the rest. Instead, you can devote your time to golf, tennis swimming, boating and fun. Another advantage of being a Palm Club condominium owner is that you are entitle to deduct all interest and real estate taxes from your Federal tax return. At Palm Club, you can choose from either one or two bedroom layouts or two bedroom town-houses, to suit your particular needs. All first floor units will have terraces and all second floor unites will have balconies for sunning and enjoying the view. Many will also feature screened-in porches. all apartments will come complete with wall-to wall carpeting in living areas, vinyl floor kitchens and ceramic tile in baths. Your work-saving G.E. kitchens will include a 14 cu. ft. refrigerator, electric range, dishwasher and washer/drier. There will be individual air-condition and heating controls in each apartment. Every layout has been designed with comfort and convenience in mind.
    Consider all the Palm Club has to offer. with each new day there are a host of interesting and varied activities close by…from playing a Championship Golf Course in the early dawn to luxuriating in the beauty of a spectacular sunset. It all adds up to a way of life that promises to be rich and rewarding to you and your family.


    December 12th, 1974:
    The excitement is The Palm Club, a Condominium at
    Palm Coast

    The Palm Club, a condominium, is now part of the excitement at Palm Coast, Florida

    Palm Coast is a new community being developed by I.T.T. Community Development Corporation. With over five miles of ocean beach along Florida’s Atlantic Coast, it is just 43 miles from historic St. Augustine and 24 miles from the modern growing city of Daytona Beach.
    Recreation and social activities abound at Palm Coast. In addition to miles of Atlantic shoreline, Palm Coast has more than 17 miles along the Intracoastal Waterway and number streams, ponds, and lakes. All this makes for excellent swimming, boating and bountiful salt and fresh water fishing. Palm Coast’s Championship 18 Hole Golf Course and Tennis Courts are available as well as its Yacht Club and Marina. ( Membership rates and fees for recreational facilities are available on request). Temperatures are moderate, with a daily average of 60 in December and 80 in July.
    There’s plenty gong on around Palm Coast, too. Daytona Beach has its renowned auto racing speedway, jai alai and dog racing, restaurants and night clubs. Marineland, with its famous aquarium and show is just 23 miles away.
    For those interested in cultural pursuits, St. Augustine, the oldest city in the Unites States, features an area restored to its appearance in Spanish times. Both St. Augustine and Daytona beach offer museums and historical sites, concerts by symphony orchestras and leading artists, and touring ballet and theatre.
    Palm Coast is a community where plans and protections will help growth occur on an ecologically sound basis, with fresh air, 15,000 acres of green enclaves, and low population densities. With its climate , access by air, train and auto, and many recreational facilities, Palm Coast proves an ideal location for meetings, vacations and year ’round living.

    The above is from a large Packet for Advertising that I am Steward of. Therein are many wonderful and marvelous Pen and Ink on Parchments. Hopefully in the future there will be a Art Exposition so you all can see these great works of Art by famed Artist Marc Szabo, still having Studios in South America and L.A. Hopefully this Exposition can receive donations which can use used to promote the Arts in Palm Coast. When I conversed with Marc Szabo he said he did not have any copies of this work and that was the era that he and his staff did these works by hand without Computer Assistance !

    I hope this give new Palm Coasters a sense of community and sense of place since Palm Coast is a very Heritage and History rich Community..

    Thank you.

  2. Pastor Bruce Laurent
    Pastor Bruce Laurent says:

    Pastor/Founder Church on the Rock Palm Coast Inc.

    Years ago I discussed 20 acres N US1 with ITT Rayonier.(Kathy Twilleger)
    I Would like to have some info if now if the property is no longer tied up with tax dollars!
    I have vision for 440,000 square ft Transformation Center with world-wide influence for Christian evangelism.
    This is being lifted In much prayer, being we are waiting for entrepreneurs to come forth by Faith to finance this God project!
    If you could possibly meet with me and the present Senior Pastor of Church on the Rock, we could show you the exact property and acquire some figures to bring back to our intercessors for prayer, much obliged.
    Pastor/Founder Bruce Laurent

  3. Pastor Bruce Laurent
    Pastor Bruce Laurent says:

    Pastor/Founder Church on the Rock Palm Coast Inc.

    Years ago I discussed 20 acres N US1 with ITT Rayonier.(Kathy Twilleger)
    I Would like to have some info if now if the property is no longer tied up with tax dollars!
    I have vision for 440,000 square ft Transformation Center with world-wide influence for Christian evangelism.
    This is being lifted In much prayer, being we are waiting for entrepreneurs to come forth by Faith to finance this God project!
    If you could possibly meet with me and the present Senior Pastor of Church on the Rock, we could show you the exact property and acquire some figures to bring back to our intercessors for prayer, much obliged.
    Pastor/Founder Bruce Laurent

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply