Case Studies

Cascades at River Hall

Cascades at River Hall

The Challenge:
River Hall was a well-planned and well-executed 2,000 + unit master planned community developed by Landmar, a reputable master developer. River Hall came to market at the peak of the real estate boom. Landmar had an excellent statewide reputation as a master developer. Cascades was a 570-unit active adult concept within River Hall which had been executed by Levitt and Sons with considerable success in many areas of Florida, including Lee County. The market changed drastically for the worse just as the community came online. Despite being well executed, the community was considered remote and proved very susceptible to the changes in the market.Cascades at River Hall was Bank of America’s asset and consisted of a total of 570 fully developed detached single family lots. Of the 570 total lots, 89 are owner occupied by third parties. There were 13 furnished models and a serviceable model center with traffic traps and paved parking, 7 completed spec homes and 5 partially completed spec homes.

Our Impact:
There were two conditions of concern regarding the asset: working out the problems with Cascades and dealing with the conditions within River Hall itself. The Cascades was a failed development by a bankrupt builder (Levitt) within a failed community by a bankrupt developer (Landmar). Several national builders had previously “dumped” their lot inventory at drastic reductions to what they originally paid for the lots. We examined the alternatives and determined the best outcome: a well-capitalized builder would take over the whole Cascades Community and start over again marketing essentially the same age-restricted (55+) product. To understand the magnitude of the task a successor builder would have to sell about 50 retail units per year to get out in ten years. No one was doing that in the market at the time.

The Outcome:
By targeting the marketing of the Cascades asset to well-funded parties capable of building out the community, we were able to narrow down the group to five final bidders. Out of those five, three finalists made “best of final” offers and two were at or above the asking price. Our recommended bidder to the bank closed on time with no delay or renegotiation of the deal.

Ideas into Action