A Short Heritage

March 31, 2009

The developer of Heritage Plantation, an upscale-minded community in the Florida panhandle town of Crestview, has put the brakes on his plans and is handing over the keys to his lender, BB&T.

The development features a Bill Bergin-designed course that appeared as No. 5 in Golf Digest's Best New Public rankings this year.

That wasn't enough of a draw, apparently. There were supposed to be nearly 800 homes, with prices starting at $359,000 for homes of 1,700 square feet. Yet developer Steve Riggs has sold only 57 lots and only four homes have been built, according to the Northwest Florida Daily News. "I would have been OK with 20 to 25 lots a year," Riggs told the paper. "But I think we sold one in all of 2008."

The development may be a bust, but Riggs scores points with me for his honesty: "It's not my first failure and it probably won't be my last," the paper quotes him as saying.

My Deeds & Weeds colleague, Geoff, notes this is the second 2009 Best New Public finalist to make headlines for financial problems. A couple of weeks back he posted an item about Cottonwood Hills, a Nick Faldo design in Kansas. Cottonwood Hills shut down in December but is supposed to reopen later this week.

-- P.F.