Tidelands Condo Community Settlement May Underscore Turnaround for Palm Coast
FlaglerLive | March 25, 2013
March 22 marked three milestones in the evolution of Tidelands, a private Intracoastal Waterway community in Palm Coast of some 172 single-family home sites and 252 condominiums that suffered severely from the housing bust. The milestones, along with other indicators, suggest that even some of the housing communities hardest hit by the bust are moving more steadily toward recovery.
First, the Tidelands Homeowners Association and Tidelands Condominium Association signed off on a settlement agreement ending a protracted lawsuit dating back several years. The amicable settlement between the two associations was negotiated by the respective boards, pre-empting a trial. The suit was an outgrowth of a past dispute between Phase I and Pulte/Centex.
“Our board has been working closely with the Board members from Phase-II for some time now, and the result is starting to show,” Tidelands Homeowners Association President John Laudermilk said. “We are becoming much more in-tune with each other, where we have the same objectives of moving our Tidelands community forward in a direction good for all of our member residents.”Second, Phases I and II, along with Pulte (which absorbed developer Centex in 2009) signed an amendment to the Cost Share Agreement which redefines the respective obligations of the parties to manage and fund the maintenance of joint use areas. The original agreement was broad, including walking paths, storm water retention ponds (residents prefer to call them lakes), streets, street lights and both community entrances. The amendment greatly reduced the scope of the Cost Share Committee’s maintenance responsibilities. Each association will be responsible for its own walking paths and storm water system. The amendment affects only maintenance. All joint use areas (such as the walking paths) are still available to all residents of the Tidelands community.
Third, the Tidelands Condominium Association and Pulte also completed a settlement agreement. Pulte has conveyed to TCA the Club facilities (clubhouse, two pools and two tennis courts) and Phase II Intracoastal Waterway shoreline property. The Settlement Agreement resolves all financial claims between the Pulte and TCA and commits Pulte to make roofing and wing wall repairs to Tidelands condominium buildings. Further, Pulte pays TCA roughly $400,000. TCA will allocate the money to fund a reserve account for the Club facilities, to complete a coquina shoreline stabilization with observation piers and complete additional building repairs. Pulte will retain the right to develop the additional 134 condominium units that have been entitled to the property.
“This huge step completes a lengthy and complex turnover process and gives the Tidelands Condominium Board the freedom to move forward with beneficial enhancements to its Club amenities and Intracoastal Waterway shoreline,” said TCA Board President Toby Tobin, who summarized the essence of the settlements in a news release.
In further signs of health, Tobin said that if some 90 units’ owners were failing to pay their normal dues two and a half years ago, that number is down to about 30 today. Sale prices have picked up, too, with one recent sale at about half the value of the unit at the height of the boom–an improvement over sale prices that had plummeted to around a fifth of the value at the depth of the crisis. Tidelands, in Tobin’s view, may be emblematic if a larger turnaround.
“Just like the local market is having its turns,” Tobin said, “Tidelands at one point had over 60 units on the market, all short sales, it’s down to eight or nine nits on the market, with only three or four of them being short sales.”