(Carl Cronan is editor of Real EstateFlorida.)
WINTER PARK, FL-Police here have ruled the death of local commercial real estate developer Stephen R. Walsh as a suicide. The pronouncement was made nearly a week after Walsh’s body was found at his home June 25.
While authorities have stated all along that Walsh’s death did not appear to be a random act of violence, they held off disclosing the cause to the public until after his funeral in his hometown of Charlotte, NC, on Monday. Police say Walsh died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest.
Walsh, 61, the managing partner of Broad Street Partners, was involved in a $250-million mixed-use project called Tradition Towers in Downtown Orlando. Plans for the 39-story twin-building project near Lake Eola include luxury residential condominiums, office and retail space, a full-service hotel and the new home of the city’s University Club.
Other of Walsh’s local projects have run into trouble in recent years, such as the four-story Carlisle condo development in Winter Park, which succumbed to local opposition, and the $200-million Oviedo on the Park town center, which was halted by financing and permitting problems.
Walsh’s photo and information remained displayed on Broad Street’s Web site Tuesday afternoon. The site states that Walsh had more than three decades of experience in real estate development, construction, finance and management, including project such as a 32-story office tower in Charlotte.
According to published reports, Walsh filed for bankruptcy in Charlotte in the 1990s, blaming bad investments and changes to tax laws, before relocating to Florida ten years ago. Public records show that Walsh settled hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of tax liens and legal disputes in the last few years, though acquaintances say he did not appear to have current financial problems and was in good spirits days before he died.