Thanks, but no thanks.
That’s what real estate mogul Donald Trump is saying today in deciding to not move forward with a purchase of The Point Lake and Golf Club, a deal that was being discussed for more than a year.
What killed it? According to Trump’s son, Eric, there was too much squabbling among the club’s members and Crescent Communities, the property’s owner, souring the Trump organization on the deal.
This morning, in announcing the end of the deal to The Mecklenburg Times, Eric Trump said the decision came after meeting with The Point’s members this week.
“We like the asset (The Point) but it just seems like there’s a lot of infighting between members and Crescent,” he said. “They (Crescent) don’t know what they want to do, and the members don’t know what they want to do.”
In a story last week, The Mecklenburg Times was the first to report on a rift that had formed between club members over the possible Trump purchase. Some club members told the newspaper that they felt they should retain ownership of the club, and they worried about fees going up and the ambiance changing if Trump took over.
Crescent is scheduled to turn over ownership and management of the upscale, lakefront Mooresville club and golf course to its members by the end of the year.
Eric Trump, who oversees golf course acquisitions for his famous father, said he informed club members this morning that the Trump organization was no longer interested in purchasing The Point. He said he arrived at The Point Monday and, after several meetings with Crescent and club officials over the course of two days, he decided the deal was a bad idea.
“We had a vision to make the place incredible,” he said. “But unless the club has a clear direction, it’s just not worth our time. We see hundreds of golf clubs every month, and we would have put tens and tens of millions into The Point. But, quite frankly, the club and the developer have to know the direction they want to go, and right now that’s lacking there. We decided it’s not a good time for us to step in unless something changes drastically.”
The Point’s members have also complained that the club’s nine-member advisory board of governors did not keep them informed about its dealings with the Trump organization.
Eric Trump said he heard from a few members who expressed some misgivings about the deal. But, overall, members favored it, he said.
“I’m very confident that we would have gotten a full vote and people would have been cheering,” he said. “But we like to do simple, easy deals that are straightforward. We’d been talking to them (The Point) for quite some time, and it got to the point that for a small deal like this it just didn’t make sense for us to move forward.”
He said that since The Mecklenburg Times started reporting on The Point deal, he’s received calls from several other clubs in the Charlotte area inviting him to look at their facilities. While he wouldn’t disclose their names, he said there are only two or three in the area that he’d be interested in.
So far, he’s toured one and hopes to look at another sometime next year.
“We want to be down in Charlotte, so we are exploring other opportunities, and we might come back to this (The Point) at some point if the board and membership decide the direction they want to go in,” he said. “But we spend millions on golf clubs and create some of the best facilities in the world. We’ll continue to look at other clubs in Charlotte and see what’s right for us. I’m confident we’ll be in the Charlotte market at some point.”
Boykin can be reached at email@example.com.