PALM COAST, FL – February 12, 2017 – The site of the former Sheraton Hotel and marina at the intersection of Palm Coast’s main canal and the Intracoastal Waterway has been purchased from Centex by Atlanta-based Jacoby Development Group. Additional Centex-owned land, bounded by the City of Palm Coast’s Palm Harbor Golf Course, is also part of the deal.
The transaction, valued at $5,500,000, closed December 28, 2016, one year after Jacoby re-bought several parcels in Marineland from Centex, also for $5,500,000. That deal closed December 30, 2015.
Both Marineland and Palm Coast Resort had been components of a master plan by Centex to develop a lineal Intracoastal Waterway resort destination under the Centex Destination Properties banner. In addition to Marineland and Palm Coast Resort, the master plan incorporated Tidelands condominiums, Canopy Walk condominiums and ICW property on John Anderson know at the time as Bulow Shores. Water taxis would offer convenient intra-resort transportation.
PALM HARBOR RESORT
Centex vision of Palm Coast Resort received Palm Coast’s blessing. The master plan included the marina, a condo hotel, three condominium towers and a large, multi-story parking garage. It also included a total redesign and redevelopment of the Palm Harbor Golf Course, to be supervised by Jack Nicklaus. The golf course entitlements included condominiums within the course’s boundaries.
CENTEX ORIGINAL PLAN FOR MARINELAND
When the real estate bubble burst, Centex had made some headway:
- Palm Harbor Golf Course – The course was closed and the clubhouse demolished. The course was later “given” to the city. After a $5,000,000 renovation, the course reopened as a municipal golf course.
- Palm Coast Resort – The pre-existing hotel was demolished. One condo tower and the parking garage were completed.
- Marineland – Entitlements were secured for 252 residential units; townhomes, single-family homes and condominiums. None were built, but in a joint agreement with the county, the Marineland marina, which adjoined the Centex property was overhauled.
- Tidelands – 252 condominium units were completed. The remaining 134 entitled units were not built though the entitlements remain.
- Canopy Walk – The planned 242 units plus docks with lifts were completed
- Bulow Shores – The ICW-fronted development was planned and Centex had begun accepting reservation deposits from prospective buyers, but no construction was begun. Bulow Shores was subsequently purchased in 2007 by the Ginn Company for $14,500,000. It was sold again in 2014 to Seaside Landings for $3,000,000. Development has begun there.
Back to Jacoby
Jacoby has long ties to Marineland beginning with childhood visits to the dolphin attraction. He purchased 40 acres, including the aquatic theme park, for $1.9M in 2001. Jacoby is credited with saving the theme park, rebuilding it after it suffered severe hurricane damage in 2004.
About that time and in two separate transactions Jacoby sold its non-theme park Marineland parcels to Centex Destination Properties for a reported $23M. Jacoby repurchased Centex’s Marineland property for $5,500,000 in the December 2015 transaction; a reverse flip. The Marineland Dolphin Adventure was sold to Georgia Aquarium in 2010 for $2,750,000.
Jacoby has had the Palm Coast Resort property, including the land within the golf course, under contract for some time. The original Centex development has expired. It’s not unusual for governments to grant renewals or extensions, but Jacoby will be seeking approval for a different plan for Palm Coast Resort.
Unlike Centex’s slash and burn approach (remember their unauthorized removal and trimming of several large live oak trees at the resort), Jacoby’s proposed project will be something much more receptive to residents and city officials.
GoToby.com expects Jacoby to come forward with a mixed-use plan that includes a hotel, some 3-story residential/commercial buildings with commercial on the first floor and residential above. Look for upscale waterfront restaurants too and a redeveloped marina. We can expect Jacoby to retool Centex’s golf course condominium plan, reducing its impact upon golfers and nearby residents. A 2007 Wall Street Journal article describes Jacoby’s conversion to ecological responsibility.
Mr. Jacoby, by his own account, made more than $100 million over several decades clearing land to build supermarkets, strip malls, and nearly 40 Wal-Mart stores throughout the South.
He has since become a convert to "green" development and wants to make Marineland a showcase for his newfound eco-friendly business principles
Palm Harbor Impact
The development of Palm Coast Resort, the marina, the recent purchase of the remaining developer rights at Tidelands (an additional 134 condominium units), DR Horton’s successful 54-home Country Club Harbor and the recent flurry of interest in the former Players Club property (20 acres adjacent to European Village) bode well for the Palm Harbor area.