Memo: to all Brunswick Plantation Property Owners
From: Mason Anderson
Subject: Sunset Beach Club and Parking Facility
By now you have received a request for your opinion on the possibility of the Brunswick Plantation Property Owners Association, Inc. (BPPOA) purchasing a parcel of property at Sunset Beach which is zoned for and otherwise suitable for a Beach Club and Private Parking— for Brunswick Plantation Property Owners only.
That survey is growing from information I shared with BPPOA President Doug Scherzer and later with the Board of Directors’. I believe your Board Of Directors are following exactly the correct course of action by sending you this survey and seeking your input——- in my opinion, nothing can, nor should any official action be taken without member approval.
I think it appropriate to share with all of you my feelings on this issue, and at the same time share with you why I support the idea of a Beach club/Private parking facility on Sunset Beach.
I have chosen to do that through this Memo so that everyone will have the same information.
When we started this Plantation in 1990, parking on the local beaches was not a problem——it was in abundant supply. Even Sea Trail, which was up and running at the time had no “on the island” facility. Over time, however, that has changed. Today that is quite a different story. Parking for the public at all the beaches—-and in Sunset Beach in particular, is scarce. At Sunset, as some of you know, a lottery is used to parcel out annual parking passes. Those who don’t buy the annual pass take “pot luck” on a slot in the city space, or they park on the shoulder of the street, and risk being ticketed by the town police.
As we move into the future, this problem is only going to get worse. Given this background knowledge, some time ago I began to think about how this problem could be handled, so far as our community is concerned. The obvious answer is for the community to own its own Beach Club/Parking facility on the beach.
Of course that presents several questions:
- Is there any land on the Island properly zoned for this type facility
- Is there a parcel large enough?
- Can the parcel be purchased?
- Can BPPOA obtain financing on terms which would be affordable and practical for the owners
The more I thought about the idea, the more I became convinced I should investigate these questions. So I did.
I quickly learned that commercial property on the Sunset Island is very limited. By looking at the Commercial Property which is not already built on, I found my friend, Ed Gore, the developer of Sunset Beach still owns the block of land located on the west corner of Sunset Boulevard and Main Street, which is on the 2nd row just behind the city parking lot and the fishing pier——and it has a clear unobstructed view of the ocean.
I invited him for lunch one day and told him what I was thinking, and ask him if he would be open to sell the block of land———he agreed to consider it. About 2 weeks later we talked again, and he agreed to sell it to Our POA for $1,650,000———-which is less than the county tax value. Neither of us was sure the city zoning ordinance would allow this type of use on the Island at this time, so we went to the City and spoke to their officials——where I explained exactly what might be considered. They saw no reason this would not be an acceptable use.
Next I spoke with Robert Cox, Sr. Vice President of BB&T Bank in Shallotte and asked him if his bank was open to consider a loan to an Association, such as BPPOA for this type of amenity. He was and he is. In fact, his bank is currently working with Lockwood Folly on a similar project.
I then spoke with our Architect and asked him to look at the block of land and tell me about how many parking spaces together with a pavilion type building and swimming pool and sun deck the block would reasonably support. He did that, and reported to me that with an elevated building, pool and sun deck, it will also support about 75 or so parking spaces.
With that information, I put together the following numbers and first presented them to Doug Scherzer and then later to the Board of Directors. I now present them to you so everybody will at least understand what I think.
I fully realize that all final decisions, not only to proceed, but if so, in what manner, rests with you all and Your Board of Directors. This Memo is not intended to interfere with that process
This project could be approached in two ways: namely (1) just buy the land and put in a private parking facility—-naturally, by internet, tied into our front gate security center or (2) add the club/pool facility.
If the decision is to go forward, and the BPPOA decided to finance the whole of the purchase price of the block of land and parking facility, leaving off the Pavilion/pool/deck facilities—-the cost would be little less than $8.00 per month per membership.
If the decision is to do the whole thing——amazingly that would add a little less than $4.00 per month.
That is what I recommend because I don’t think we will save any money on construction of these facilities in the future—-and I think interest rates will rise in the future. So my own thinking is we can have the whole thing without increasing the cost.
For these calculations I have used a 15 year amortization and a 6% interest rate——interest rate on such a loan may be much less, which would result in a smaller monthly payment. Also, as new properties are added the monthly carry cost per membership will fall.
If the decision is to go ahead, the Board may decide to make a down payment out of the reserve funds, and therefore finance something less than the total cost—-which would result in a smaller monthly cost—-so my $12 per month number is, in my opinion, the maximum number to have the nicest private Beach Club and Private Parking Facility on the beach of any community in the area……even with taxes, insurance, and maintenance the monthly cost is not likely to exceed $14 per membership.
I know some of you are not beach goers ———to you I suggest you consider:
- The value which such a facility will add to your property——-I cannot tell you the number, but I can tell you it will be substantial——-and that as time goes by, that value will increase as the access problem grows worse.
- Your grand-kids and friends will want to enjoy the beach when they visit and yes, even you might wind up using such a nice facility while you try a nice walk on the beach, or you might even like to attend a community beach party at the Club.
For those of you who may not remember, under the Community Documents, We, Caw Caw, pay on average about 70 times the assessment per lot——–this amounts to quite a bit of money———-you can do the math. Just as it is with your property, I think property values will go up enough to more than offset this extra cost—————
I think a Private Beach Club and Parking will be a net win for us all.
One other thought I share with you ——this opportunity exists today; however, it is my opinion that this window of opportunity will not remain open very long. I think the parcels properly zoned on the island is very, very limited, and I think at least one other community is looking at the idea of doing the same thing——-if our community wishes to nail down this valuable asset, now is the time.
By this Memo, I am stating my recommendations to you all, I have done the preliminary work to bring it to this point——–from here forward it is entirely in your hands. I will of course assist in any way I can, and I will be glad to answer any questions from anyone.