Go Toby by Toby Tobin | Contributing Writer

Ginn legal saga continues today

Posted April 21, 2012 at 10:00 am

by Toby Tobin | Contributing Writer

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Not many are neutral on real estate developer Bobby Ginn. Like the New York Yankees, he’s either loved or reviled. Beyond ITT and Palm Coast Holdings, no other developer has had more impact on Palm Coast real estate. Bobby was involved in the early development of Grand Haven (before LandMar), the Hammock Beach Club, The Conservatory and Yacht Harbor Village. Tourism revenue generated by the Hammock Beach Club and its amenities dominates all other sources in Flagler County.

Buoyed by an apparently ever-rising market and funded by Philadelphia-based real estate investment firm Lubert-Adler, Bobby’s marketing machine seemed unstoppable.

Bobby is an enigma. Controversy has followed the charismatic real estate developer from his bankruptcies in Hilton Head, S.C., in the ’80s, where “Honk if Bobby Owes You Money” bumper stickers were popular. His Florida reincarnation in the ’90s with Lubert-Adler soon led to a claim that he was the real estate developer who was moving the most dirt in the Western Hemisphere.

Along with success came flamboyant excesses: sporting event sponsorships, corporate jets, a blimp and a NASCAR team, all prominently displaying the Ginn name. In a single sales event, all 340 lots were sold in The Conservatory. Prices ranged from $329,900 to $529,900. The final take was $141 million.

Then the bubble burst. Many who were grateful to have won the lottery at one of Ginn’s “Priority Selection Events” found themselves with no one to whom they could flip their purchase. Not surprisingly, several lawsuits followed. The first was filed in May 2007 by 99 Michigan residents. Dozens more followed.

Several suits are still active; they could take years to wind through the judicial process. Another class action lawsuit was recently filed in Collier County. The defendants in Frankowiak v. Ginn include several Ginn companies along with Lubert-Adler and several banks. Nearly all had been named in previous lawsuits.

The Ginn/Lubert-Adler union did not survive the financial stress of the housing meltdown. The blimp is gone. So too are the NASCAR team, the corporate jets. Bobby’s local legacy includes the successful Hammock Beach Resort community and generous donations to local charities. But it also includes less successful projects; and beyond Flagler County, his batting average was dismal.

The name is gone, but the legacies and lawsuits live on.


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Currently 2 Responses

  • 1.
  • Did you buy property that the appraisals had been rigged to look like it was worth more than it really was? If so you need a good Lawyer if not you need to STFU!
  • tim ramsey
    Tue 3rd Sep 2013
    at 7:35pm
  • 2.
  • Anyone who would pay $330k to $530K for a lot is an idiot. I cannot understand wha tthe sttraction is to live on a golf course. Perhaps an beach lot or an island lot but any other lot??? Even when prices skyrocketted people had to know this could not last. The avergae person could not pay the inflated prices. The economy we lived in back then could not support the continued increase in prices. Many homes in palm coast reached $350K. 86% of people cannot afford a house that expensive. They should not be able to sue, they bought the lot and you cant sell it. Too bad! Join the rest of us!
  • g s
    Fri 27th Apr 2012
    at 11:53pm
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