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[IMGCAP(1)]GULF SHORES, AL-An 880-acre site that was once to hold the $500-million Bon Secour Village is up for auction. The developer’s bankruptcy has brought the land to market, with a sealed-bid auction set for Nov. 19.

The auction will be held at 10 a.m. central time at Bon Secour Village’s welcome center at 300 Waterway West Blvd. The land is fronts the Intercoastal Waterway and US Hwy. 59. Walter Driggers with Tranzon Driggers in Ocala, FL, says 5% of the bid is required to participate. “If there are competing bids, we’ll have a best-and-final auction at 11 a.m.,” says Driggers, who is marketing the property and who will oversee the auction.

According to an article in the Mobile Press-Register, US District Judge Kristi DuBose ordered the land sale so Atlanta-based developer Bon Secour Village LLC could pay $20 million that it owes to Wachovia Bank, just one of several banks that financed the project. The article says the developers face lawsuits from others, including Regions Bank, unpaid real estate agents, builders and landscapers.

[IMGCAP(2)]“A welcome center has been built and the marina has vertical pilings–just no walks on it,” Driggers tells GlobeSt.com, adding “around the marina area there’s room for retail, restaurants and residential.” He says a little farther north near Country Road 4 that land has been set aside for a golf course. It is zoned multifamily and commercial.

Driggers says the land has been sectioned into five parcels, the smallest measuring fives acres and the largest taking up more than 500 acres. He says the land is being marketed this way to offer a variety of options to buyers. “If someone has an original development plan for the entire parcel, he can buy it all,” he says. “If someone just wants to develop the marina or high-density residential around the golf course near CR-4, they can do that. We’re dividing it if different buyers have different concepts.”

Bon Secour Village LLC began developing its “town within a town” in 2006, building a welcome center and developing some single-family lots. But in 2007, financial difficulties and lawsuits began piling up. Although the developers tried to get the project back on track in early 2008, a Chapter 11 bankruptcy was filed at the beginning of last summer.

Driggers says things are slow now, but the land is a good opportunity for developers looking to the mid- to long-term future. “People interested in this project understand anything started now would be coming on line when the economy turns around,” he adds.

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