Sunday, November 25, 2007

Let's Make a Deal

Let’s say that you just HAVE to call a piece of the North Carolina mountains your very own.

Let’s say that you have an extra $300,000 or so that’s been burning a hole in your pocket.

And let’s say that you can select a home site from gated communities in three lovely locations.


For the moment, let’s say that you can pick from what’s behind DOOR NUMBER ONE, DOOR NUMBER TWO, or DOOR NUMBER THREE.

But wait! I’ll even give you a little preview of what’s behind each door. Here goes.

How would you like a destination for those seeking a healthy lifestyle in a pedestrian friendly Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND)? How would you like a pedestrian zone at the Lakeside Village Center, where you’ll find 100,000 square feet of specialty retail featuring high quality arts and antiques?

How would you like a resort community boasting golf courses designed by Greg Norman AND Arnold Palmer? How would you like a ski slope, a Bass Pro shop and a 14 screen cinema to amenitize your Wilderness experience?

How would you like to live in an equestrian community where you can dine at one of several restaurants, indulge in holistic spa treatments or share a hot tub with friends at the Grand Lodge? How would you like a sunset wine cruise on the lake?

REMEMBER, you can choose only one, so which will it be? Hmmm…. Decisions, decisions.

Which door will it be?

If you selected DOOR NUMBER ONE, welcome to the charming Village of Penland in Mitchell County North Carolina. One little problem, though. The NC attorney general shut down the Village of Penland on charges that Tony Porter and friends pulled off a $100,000,000 scheme that diverted loan proceeds to lavish Greek cruises, failed shopping centers and similar disasters.

And a lawsuit filed on behalf of Village of Penland lot purchasers accuses loan officers at BB&T, First Charter, Carolina First, and United Community Banks of working closely (colluding?) with the developers. Door one? Nice choice!

If you went with DOOR NUMBER TWO, then pack your bags for Cataloochee Wilderness Resort in the Jonathan Creek valley of Haywood County, NC. Cataloochee Companies, LLC recently announced this fantastic 4500 acre resort. I guess you could say it’s still in the planning stages. According to news reports this week, the developers just need to purchase the acreage from a number of reluctant land owners, introduce themselves to Norman and Palmer, dot a few T’s, cross a few I’s…you know, minor details.

But the happy news is that Waynesville businessman Dean Moses is identified as a consultant on the project, with a knack for rounding up investors to back projects like Thermal Products, Enterprize Park and Grand Ridge on the abandoned Dayco industrial site. And as far as I know, those would still be going like gangbusters had it not been for the bankruptcy and foreclosure. But that’s ancient history. Welcome to the new day at Cataloochee Wilderness Resort!

If you chose DOOR NUMBER THREE, then you’ve attained a piece of Plateau Perfection, a foothold on the vastness stretching from Cashiers to Cullowhee, known simply as "River Rock". Call today, 888.743.2975, to schedule your visit.

Ask about the Artist in Residency Program. Ask for a tour of the River Rock Culinary School and the River Rock Hospitality School, the Tuckaseegee Lodge, the Orion Spa and the Mother Jones Hot Tub. And as sales executive Bart Franklin writes, "Perfect your gold [sic] game on our 18-hole gold [sic] course by Phil Mickelson Design, skim across the lake in one of our restored wooden Chris Craft classic boats, challenge your children to a game of tennis on one of our courts…" All this and more awaits you. NOW!

Join the ranks of other satisfied River Rock land owners like Barry J. Schulman, Nicholas Namba and Man Q. Tran. Cordial folks who'll slide over to make room in the hot tub for you. "Howdy neighbor, and welcome to River Rock! Come on in, the water's fine!"

Don’t forget, "A formidable force of human heart, intellect, and creativity was galvanized for River Rock to come to be. Names that will all reappear across time when people ask whose hand such marvelous places are by. The masterminds behind River Rock consider themselves students of the land rather than its overlords, for if we have learned anything from nature, it is that we shall always have more to know."

There you have it, reassuring words from the masterminds themselves, Tony Corliss and Ted Morlok, the Crick and Watson, the galvanizing braintrust, of the Legasus Corporation. And though I can’t compete with their command of the language, I do share this with T ‘n T…

I consider myself a student of the real estate industry rather than its overlord, for if I have learned anything from developers, it is that we shall always have more to know.

So, whether you chose door number one, door number two or door number three, may I say congratulations…and good luck!


From the Asheville Citizen, we read:
Investors are suing four banks they accuse of working closely with developers on a Mitchell County development project that collapsed, costing them millions of dollars amid a state fraud investigation. The banks’ loan officers were willing participants in a scheme that left investors owing at least $80 million on property in the Village of Penland that is now worth a fraction of that amount, according to a complaint filed on behalf of 99 investors in Wake County Superior Court in Raleigh.

You’d be hard pressed to find a more informative narrative and case history in how the mortgage crisis has come about than to study the complaint filed by the plaintiffs. Read it here.
I continue to be amazed at how the media have neglected this story….

Moving on to happier news, the future looks bright for the Cataloochee Wilderness Resort. Check out these spectacular renderings:

And CWR has its own website, appropriately enough "still under construction." But for my money, this story tells us all we need to know about the Cataloochee Wilderness Resort. The word "brazen" comes to mind.

Closer to home, here amongst the Children of Fortune, we’ll be taking a closer look at the California software tycoon who has been buying up big chunks of Jackson County. Later…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And don't forget the smaller operator; River Stone . riding around in the company vehicles with FLORIDA car tags. Must be great to BE in Jackson County North Carolina.! yeah........