New owner for The Cove at St. Johns

Developer intends to finish condos

By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

If it’s true that “all good things come to those who wait,” then the waiting may be over for homeowners living in the shadow of the unfinished Cove at St. Johns on Goodby’s Creek.
The Cove at St John
It was recently revealed that Prospect Property Group of Orlando paid $2.5 million for the property and, according to Frank Tetel, vice president of acquisitions, the plans will be to finish the condominium, with construction crews assembling before the end of the year.

This property development has been “baking” for eight years; permit records on the property date back to 2005. The original plan was for a 76-unit luxury condominium project with 13 boat slips.

The developer, at that time in March 2006, was The Devlin Group, a well-known and former high-profile residential and commercial real estate development company that was involved in projects and prospective projects on the beach, at the St. Johns Town Center and in Downtown St. Augustine.

The development’s woes began when the original contractor, The Auchter Co., went out of business. Then Silverton Bank, which held the primary note on the project, failed and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. took over the property. Finally, in March 2011, the Devlin Group, dba Goodby’s Creek LLC, had an involuntary petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation filed against it, according to public records.

Now The Cove at St. Johns has a new lease on life with Prospect Property Group, which was founded in 1994 to capitalize on distressed office and retail property during the 1990s downturn. The firm halted acquisition activity in mid-2005 due to ‘irrational exuberance’ in condominium valuations.

The company claims to have a 16-year track record with superior returns and zero failed developments, which bodes well for the project on Goodby’s Creek. Local properties include Reserve at Water’s Inlet, 205 apartments, acquired March 2011, and Ocean Grove of Ponte Vedra, 252 condo units, acquired in June 2004.

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