Local links hit bunker: King's Grant auction to help pay $12.7M bank debt
Following an unsuccessful attempt at redevelopment, the 178-acre King's Grant golf course in Summerville is scheduled go up for sale at a courthouse auction to help repay a nearly $12.7 million bank debt.
The property on the Ashley River and plans to develop it have been in court before. Next week's sale is just the latest move in a saga that began in 2005 when the course closed after years of losing money, becoming a local symbol of an overbuilt industry.
Controversial plans that followed to build homes on the former fairways were a precursor to similar disputes elsewhere in the region, including Mount Pleasant.
Residents of the adjacent King's Grant subdivision went to court to block initial redevelopment plans that called for hundreds of new homes. A compromise plan that called for 80 residences and preservation of much of the open space was approved in 2006 and led by a King's Grant resident who acquired the land in a deal estimated then at $3.5 million.
"Roads went in, utilities were ready to go in and we were probably three months away from selling lots," said Mark McKnight, attorney for the owner, Dave Mikulski. "Then, the bottom dropped out."
"There was a lot of time, trouble and effort, but it was another victim of the economy," McKnight said Monday.
For residents of King's Grant, the failure of the redevelopment plan has meant losing access to neighborhood recreational amenities -- including a swimming pool, tennis courts and clubhouse -- that were to be maintained and improved as part of the deal.
Instead of improvements, there's a shuttered clubhouse and a drained swimming pool, said Robert Gleason, president of the King's Grant homeowners association.
"It's certainly unsightly, at best," Gleason said of the pool.
The amenities aren't owned by the association. They were part of the golf course property and available to residents of the subdivision for additional fees.
Now the amenities are part of the foreclosure.
"We're not sure what is at stake for us, but we want to be part of whatever is going on," Gleason said Monday. "We suspect the bank will be the only bidder."
Wells Fargo bank foreclosed on the property in June 2010 and was awarded a nearly $12.7 million judgement about five weeks ago.
The March 13 courthouse auction is scheduled for 11 a.m. in St. George.
McKnight said the eight-figure judgment represents roughly $10.5 million borrowed to pay for acquisition of the property plus development expenses and debt service. About $2 million more represents interest and fees.
Gleason said the property remains subject to the development agreement with the homeowners association.
"That's what our legal people tell us," he said.
In addition to 80 home sites -- which would fan out from two streets called Kings Marsh Lane and Salt Marsh Parkway on what was once fairways -- the development agreement initially called for a restaurant and bar, clubhouse, private-event venue, banquet hall, sales and management center, maintenance shed, day-use marina and parking.
Reach David Slade at 937-5552.