Real State

How a Golf Community Recovered From a Near-Death Experience

They bought the property with 100 percent equity in 2019 from Arendale Holdings Corporation, which had been running the Cliffs since 2013.

“Our goal is to just try to figure out a way to make the community successful,” said Patrick Melton, managing partner of South Street Partners in Charlotte, N.C. “People knew about the Cliffs in the early 2000s because Jim spent a lot of money marketing it. Our job is to get it jump-started. We’re trying to raise the bar.”

Their timing could be right.

The communities that make up the Cliffs, with its 3,000 residents, are private and remote. The average home price last year was $1.2 million, with houses ranging from $500,000 to over $6 million. Lots start at $125,000. Full golf memberships, which give access to the club’s amenities and seven courses, require a separate initiation fee of $50,000 and annual dues.

Along with the stability of new owners, the development has also been bolstered by the realization that working from home is a viable and likely option for the near future.

John Pfleger, who works in finance, sold his home in South Florida and moved full time to the Cliffs in October. “The fact that so much of the country was in flux made it easier,” he said. “I haven’t been to New York in a year. I used to be there several times a month.”

South Street, in buying back the outstanding debt, including some held by members, has been able to take steps to reassert control over the entire property. Members have been relieved of the oversight responsibilities they have had for years — something that has made upgrades at the Cliffs considerably easier.

Rob Duckett, president of the Cliffs and there day to day, said one of the first things he did was to create a unified sense of what the Cliffs is today, not what it was more than a decade ago.

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