Hal Sutton surely wouldn't turn down such a sweetheart deal were it offered to him, but he's apparently willing to put his own money into a project when things aren't going as well as hoped. We've written before about the Boot Ranch project near Fredericksburg (here and here): Sutton's company is developing the ultra-exclusive neighborhood and golf course for the rich.
But the project ran into trouble with a major investor - the Municipal Police Employees' Retirement System, a Louisiana pension organization - threatening to pull out of the project. The MPERS was concerned when it learned that Boot Ranch had burned through a $30 million line of credit without actually recording any home sales or golf club memberships. And the development was seeking more money to devote to selling the project to potential club members and residents.
The Shreveport Times reports that Sutton - a Louisiana native who has a ranch near Junction - has personally stepped in, securing a $34 million loan that will keep MPERS from withdrawing from Boot Ranch. "Sutton will use Boot Ranch and his personal guarantee to get a $34 million line of credit from First United Bank in Texas to finish the 2,200-acre luxury development" the newspaper reported.
The paper goes on to report:
Plans for the controversial Boot Ranch call for an 18-hole golf course, driving range, practice greens, clubhouse village offering fine dining and other amenities and 62 executive homes in the heart of Texas Hill Country. Developers have not completed any sales because Gillespie County commissioners would not record the plat until Boot Ranch paid $2 million to $3 million to ensure proper road construction by builders.See the full article here.
The additional $34 million investment is needed because some of Boot Ranch's potential clients "want tangible evidence the entire project will be built" before buying the pricey homes or golf club memberships, according to retirement system lawyer Randy Zinna.
A news release made public Wednesday by Sutton agent Gilbert Little and printed on the system's letterhead assures that construction "is moving along smoothly."