A summary of important news and events in the Palm Coast/Flagler real estate market during 2010.
The foreclosure documentation crisis interrupted a housing market that was beginning to show some strength. The lack of valid loan documents throws into question the validity of thousands of foreclosures. There is no easy solution. This problem will be with us a long time to resolve. Its complexity and broad impact has not been fully appreciated.
Judges have increasingly thrown out foreclosures when the lender was unable to prove they owned the mortgage and note. Valid documents are required. But the problem does not stop with foreclosures. Short sales and even traditional uncontested sales transactions may be suspect. What if the lender who accepted the final closeout balance and released the mortgage lien was not really the lender who owned the note and mortgage? Title insurance companies are becoming very nervous.
Lubert-Adler replaced Bobby with new operations and development partners. The Ginn brand has been retired. The Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast remains the healthiest of all the former Ginn assets, but locally, the Conservatory and Yacht Harbor Village continue to flounder while the Gardens and Bulow Creek remain dormant. Both Bobby and Lubert-Adler face continuing legal challenges from several lawsuits.
Ginn-LA’s legal challenges come not only from disgruntled property owner/investors but from Bankruptcy Trustee Drew Dillworth. Dillworth continues his dogged effort to recover millions from Ginn-LA that he alleges were fraudulently transferred from the bankrupted Tesoro and Quail West developments.
Lubert-Adler wants approval to build more condos or a hotel at Hammock Beach. The Notice of Potential Change (NOPC) plans place the new structure on golf course property, blocking some residents’ views. Both residents and the county oppose the NOPC. An ongoing legal challenge will play out early next year.
Palm Coast dodged the Chinese drywall crisis. Thousands of homes, mostly in the south, are uninhabitable because of sulfur gases emitted from defective drywall, mostly from China. Remediation runs more than $100,000 per house. Fortunately, there are only two confirmed cases in Flagler County.
Crescent Resources emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The downsized company is selling off its Florida and Georgia real estate assets, including four local golf courses; Grand Haven and the Grand Club (Pines, Cypress, and the closed Matanzas course). All were under contract at one time but the sales fell through.
The much anticipated 14-screen Epic Theater opened in Town Center. The iconic Blue Roof Real Estate Sales building was razed. A new CVS Pharmacy is under construction on the site, opposite a new ABC Liquor Store. A Dunkin Donuts was erected in Town Center where construction is also underway on an Olive Garden and Red Lobster.