New owners close on Bright’s Creek purchase

Published 10:14 am Monday, August 8, 2011

Protex Investment Group Inc., owned by husband and wife Alexander Salgado and Gabrielle Barragan, officially closed Wednesday, Aug. 3 on an approximately $23.5 million deal to purchase Bright’s Creek golf development.

The sale of the 5,000-acre development will mean a total of $47,127 in excise tax, according to the register of deeds office.

Meanwhile, Polk County tax collector Melissa Bowlin said Bright’s Creek Holdings brought in $317,213 in real estate taxes last year.

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Polk County commissioner Ray Gasperson said he is happy to see the deal official as it bolsters a tax base hurting from a number of stagnant development properties.

“This was really a big deal for the county in a lot of ways,” Gasperson said. “It’s going to help to protect our tax base and keep it stable. It would have really eroded the tax base we need from up there if a deal had not moved forward.”

Polk commissioners approved a new development agreement for Bright’s Creek back in April, when the new owners began managing the property, but it took until this month to finalize the purchase.

The new development agreement includes more open space and cluster housing.

Housing density is expected to remain at 1,370 dwelling units, but some of that will include cluster housing as opposed to large, individual lots. The new plans for Bright’s Creek also include 1,381 acres of open space, which was not included in former plans.

The development agreement provides a general progression of construction plans potentially through 2030.

The plans include the potential development of a pool/fitness facility and the construction of a connector road to Henderson County by 2015. Proposed are a hotel, nature trails and a boutique and spa.

The agreement also lays out the submittal of a preliminary plan for phase three of the development by 2020 and phase 4 by 2025. The development agreement runs out in 2030.

“It seems, even in this economy, they are really after a high-end clientele, which in many cases hasn’t really been as affected the way other members of society have,” Gasperson said. “It would be a big boost for the county if these new owners do come through with many of the luxury additions planned – it could be a big draw.”

Developers Bright’s Creek Holdings, LLC first planned Bright’s Creek, located mostly in Polk County with some areas in Henderson County, with principals Bill Amick and Jim Roquemore. The development currently includes a golf course designed by Tom Fazio, an equestrian center and a lodge.