The History of World Golf Village – Part IV “Let the fun begin…Land Acquisitions” by Developer Jim Davidson

Posted by: Jim Davidson in News

As previously indicated, there were 1,300 acres of land that had been included in the project approval process, but not acquired by the investors. Since almost 100% of the property to be acquired was adjoining the proposed interchange, the land acquisitions required for development also included  acreage to construct the new interchange. A clover-leaf design interchange needs approximately 100 acres to be constructed and would encompass 80± acres upon completion. Once the ownerships were determined and title issues identified, the acquisition effort began. All of the land owners were well aware of the “increased” value of their property as permitted. It is clearly an understatement to say that it was unfortunate that the land was not put under contract prior to being permitted. Previously discussed verbal understandings of value didn’t mean much once the permits were issued. As such, the negotiations were extremely difficult. Fortunately many of the landowners had substantial additional acreage in proximity to the required acquisition acreage. Therefore, it was clearly in their best interest to see the project built for their future land values. Acreage acquisitions were as small as 7.1 acres up to over 1,000 acres.

The largest tracts were in two pieces and located in the northeast quadrant and the northwest quadrant and represented over 2.5 miles of I-95 frontage. These tracts, in addition to thousands of acres of adjoining land, were owned by a prominent family land trust. Protection of trust assets was critical in the negotiations and resulted in an acre for acre land swap between the trust and the investors. In addition, the trust assumed a limited partnership position in the entity that owned and would subsequently develop the 2,000 acres on three quadrants around the proposed interchange. The new partnership was consummated in 1989 almost 18 months after the land acquisition effort commenced. This was the last acquisition required to secure all of the permitted project acreage for development purposes.

The land acquisition effort resulted in almost $5.0 million in additional invested capital by the investors.

In addition to the outright purchase of the added property, there existed several significant title encumbrances, which required resolution prior to any development efforts. The acquired trust property had both an existing timber lease and a mineral lease. In order to eliminate the timber lease, the investors agreed to let the timber company clear a major portion of the 1,000 acres, in addition to granting a timber lease on the swap parcel purchased by the investors. The release of the mineral lease required a cash settlement after protracted negotiations. The collective cost of eliminating these two title exceptions exceeded $1.0 million.

The invested capital now approached $23.0 million.


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