The WPJ

Orlando Timeshare Developer Selling $353 Million in None-Core Assets

Vacation News » Vacation & Leisure Real Estate Edition | By Alex Finkelstein | March 18, 2010 4:15 PM ET



(ORLANDO, FL) -- Harsh economic times have even caught up with Orlando billionaire timeshare developer David A. Siegel.
 
The 78-year-old founder and chairman of 40-year-old, Orlando-based Central Florida Investments Inc. has retained global-oriented Carlton Advisory Services Inc. of New York City to sell off about $352 million of company assets not directly associated with the timeshare industry.
 
The assets include timeshares, hotels, condos, raw land and rights to develop near Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, Siegel told the Orlando Sentinel.
 
About 75 percent of the assets are in Florida. The rest are in California, Missouri, Mississippi, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
 
Real estate capital sources tell Real Estate Channel they estimate conservatively that the total assets could generate about 40 percent of their current listed value, or about $140 million.
 
Carlton Advisory sources do not deny the assets will be marked down to distressed-level prices.
 
The sale is expected to attract buyers worldwide, according to sources familiar with the current health of global real estate capital markets.
 
So dire has the cash-flow situation become at Siegel's sprawling real estate empire, the Miami Beach-born developer has even stopped work on his 90,000-square-foot mansion in Windermere, an affluent south Orlando community.
 
The mansion has been under phased construction for the past five years and is being built at an estimated cost of $500 per square foot.  Construction industry estimators familiar with the mansion say the total estimated $45 million cost could be on the low side when the project is finally completed.
 
Siegel's flagship timeshare property is Westgate Resorts in Orlando, a wide-spread community with over 10,000 condominium units. Westgate Resorts operates about 30 timeshare resorts in more than 10 states
 
In addition to Westgate Resorts, CFI owns or has interests in magazines (I Love Orlando, I Love Vacations), real estate (Westgate Plaza Center retail space in Las Vegas), health spas (Papillon Spas), and restaurants (Westgate Smokehouse Grill).
 
Siegel has long held the reputation of being the biggest private timeshare developer in Florida and is also considered one of the largest timeshare developers nationally.
 
He is a big money contributor to political parties and is as well known in Las Vegas gambling circles as he is on California and Florida real estate fronts, according to persons who have known and done business with Siegel for years.
 
Carlton Advisory Services is part of The Carlton Group, an international real estate investment bank specializing in equity and debt placement, merchant banking, principal investment activities and commercial and residential loan sales.
 
Their clients include "some of the most successful developers and institutions globally," according to the company website.  Founded in 1991, Carlton has closed over $45 billion of transactions since 1998 alone.




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