New owner takes over Quail West, plans to continue development

— It’s a done deal.

Quail West Golf & Country Club is in new hands.

QW 2009 LLC, a partnership of four local businessmen, has completed its purchase of parts of the community that were entangled in a bankruptcy case.

The partnership was the high bidder for the assets. The purchase includes 262 undeveloped home sites, two golf courses, a clubhouse and a sales center. The selling price was $13.5 million.

The new owners are making plans to continue the high-end community’s development in North Naples. Quail West is east of Interstate 75 between Bonita Beach Road and Immokalee Road.

“We are finishing our marketing plan and determining home site prices, with the goal of delivering the best value in the area,” said Dan Gerner, one of the partners in QW 2009 LLC and a principal in McGarvey Development in Fort Myers, in a statement.

The deal closed March 31. The sales center should open in the next 60 days.

The other partners in QW 2009 are John McGarvey, president of McGarvey Development; Alan Freeman, a longtime developer in Southwest Florida, and Bill Price, a senior vice president at McGarvey Development.

“Everything has been doom and gloom. This is a positive. It’s really positive,” McGarvey said.

An auction was held last month in West Palm Beach as part of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Ginn-LA, affiliates of Ginn, based in Celebration in Central Florida, filed for bankruptcy in December after defaulting on $675 million in debt owed on four communities, including Quail West and Tesoro in Port St. Lucie on Florida’s east coast.

The LA in Ginn-LA stands for Lubert-Adler, a financial partner of Ginn’s, based in Philadelphia.

“I think the residents on the whole are pleased with the QW 2009 ownership and we are looking forward to working closely with them as we develop our governance process and how we will move forward together,” said John Gamba, a board member for the Quail West Foundation, the community’s homeowners association.

The new owners are looking at all their options.

“We are not trying to go quickly,” McGarvey said. “We are taking a deep breath now.”

He said the goal is to bring the community back to where it was a few years ago before Ginn took it over. The partnership wants to improve everything from landscaping to the quality of services offered to residents and club members.

“We are trying to restore Quail West back to its glamor,” McGarvey said.

Despite the bankruptcy filing, Quail West has been humming along. Its two championship Arthur Hills golf courses have remained open. The resort-style clubhouse has been busy with activities, from bridge games to bocce.

“The good thing here has been that we’ve maintained all of the fundamental primary services without skipping a beat,” Gamba said. “We’ve really had a wonderful season.”

He expects even better days ahead.

“Our preferred developer/owner was really this group,” Gamba said.

Gerner and Freeman live in the community, and McGarvey Custom Homes has built more than 15 percent of the 200-plus completed custom homes in Quail West.

© 2009 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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