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Laurelmor Ownership Transferred PDF Print
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 01 January 2009 06:38

Ginn Corporation, under a chapter 7 bankruptcy agreement, has sold the Laurelmor development to a company with both North Carolina and Georgia ties. 

The Winston-Salem Journal said that the 6,000-acre luxury golf resort under construction in Watauga and Wilkes counties, has been transferred to new owners as part of a restructuring agreement, that according to Ginn Development Co. officials Wednesday.

The ownership change is part of a restructuring that is the result of negotiations that have been continuing with Credit Suisse-led lenders since before June 30. That's when Ginn-related companies failed to make principal and interest payments on a $675 million credit facility (a type of loan) for Laurelmor and three other resorts.

  Laurelmor was to be the richest, largest development in Northwest North Carolina. During a sales launch in 2006, a helicopter flew overhead taking potential buyers on tours of the property while others dined at a lavish buffet under huge party tents.

The company wound up selling about 200 lots and began building miles of roads. Sales, however, had stalled even before the nation's dramatic downturn in the economy and real-estate market.

Deeds for the new owners -- BR Development Group LLC and Blowing Rock Resort Venture LLC -- were recorded Wednesday in Wilkes County and last Tuesday in Watauga County.

The value of the transfer was a little more than $32 million, according to deed stamps in the register of deeds offices in each county.

Both BR Development Group and Blowing Rock Resort Venture are limited liability companies that were formed earlier this month in Georgia. Corporation records show they are related to Reynolds Capital Group, based in Atlanta.

Reynolds manages a $175 million fund that buys real estate across the Southeast. The company includes a subsidiary, Linger Longer Communities, whose golf-course communities include Reynolds Plantation, Reynolds Landing and Achasta, all in Georgia.

Efforts to reach a spokesman for the Reynolds Capital Group were unsuccessful.

The lenders agreed to release liens on Laurelmor as part of the agreement. Ginn companies related to two of the four resorts involved in the default -- Quail West in Naples, Fla., and Tesoro in Port St. Lucie, Fla. -- filed plans last Tuesday to liquidate under Chapter 7 of the U.S. bankruptcy code. Chapter 7 is a liquidation in which a trustee sells nonexempt property and uses the money to pay creditors.

Ginn's statement said that the two resorts would operate under the oversight of the bankruptcy court and a court-appointed trustee until a sale is concluded.

The fourth resort involved, Ginn sur Mer in Grand Bahama island, will operate at least partially under a joint venture between Ginn and its creditors.

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