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Henderson Park Capital Partners, South Street Partners, Acquire Palmetto Bluff

By Scott Kauffman

South Street Partners already owns two of the countries top master-planned private golf and resort-style real estate developments in America: The Cliffs and Kiawah Island Club.

The Charlotte and Charleston-based private equity real estate investment firm now owns another large-scale trophy property in its esteemed portfolio after just closing on the purchase of Palmetto Bluff in a joint-venture deal with Henderson Park Capital Partners.

Henderson Park, a private equity group based in the United Kingdom, is lesser known to the high-end U.S. private golf club landscape but oversees $10 billion in diversified real estate assets throughout the world with numerous distinctive hotel and residential projects.

Now the two powerhouse private equity firms are partnering on Palmetto Bluff, one of the largest remaining contiguous entitled waterfront properties on the East Coast. Palmetto Bluff, which features the boutique Forbes' Five Start Montage Palmetto Bluff resort and a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course along the May River, is situated in South Carolina's luxurious Lowcountry between Charleston, S.C., and Savannah, Ga.

Crescent Communities, one of America's leading real estate developers and the one-time subsidiary of Duke Energy, had owned Palmetto Bluff for nearly 20 years and deserves credit for positioning the sustainable community as one of the world's most distinctive destinations.

The 20,000-acre property continues to evolve as a vibrant residential and recreational preserve enriched by wilderness and wildlife and enhanced by a commitment to conservation and resort-style living to the fullest. Surrounded by 32 miles of riverfront and extensive nature trails, Palmetto Bluff is loaded with a mix of leisure-oriented lifestyle amenities including two vibrant village centers complete with river access; boat storage and canoe club; and distinctive food and beverage program.

On the residential front, n array of southern-style residential neighborhoods ranging from multi-million-dollar legacy family compounds to more traditionally sized, single-family lots are currently available.

The joint venture will oversee all aspects of development and management of the single family residential and resort community. Working alongside Palmetto Bluff’s current leadership team and the Montage Hotels & Resorts leadership team, Henderson Park and South Street will bring extensive experience in sales, marketing, club and resort operations. The JV intends to implement a comprehensive development plan for Palmetto Bluff, including the construction of innovative and high-quality amenities, such as a second golf club.

“This is a generational buy which perfectly aligns with our other assets, including Kiawah Partners, Kiawah Island Club & Real Estate, The Cliffs and The Residences at Salamander," South Street Partners managing partner Patrick Melton said. "Palmetto Bluff is a high quality, best in class property which fits seamlessly within our portfolio. The synergies are everywhere.”

Other near-term real estate development will focus on the construction of Anson Village, which will open up access to a large waterfront space and the southern Intercoastal Waterway. The JV looks forward to sharing more plans and their vision over the next couple of months.

Henderson Park, which manages an extensive international portfolio of iconic residential communities and hospitality offerings in major destination cities, which it operates both directly and in partnership with premier brands, is equally as excited about the new investment.

“Palmetto Bluff is an outstanding drive-to resort and residential destination set in a unique landscape which is set to benefit from the continued resilience of the premium leisure sector and South Carolina’s long-term appeal," Henderson Park founding partner Nick Weber was quoted as saying. "The resort offers great potential for further expansion and we are excited to team up with South Street as operating partners to enhance a truly exceptional luxury community for residents, guests and members.”


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