Tampa Bay Golf & Country Club began in June of 1993 when the land was purchased by Dr. J. C. Benefield as Colonial Village Mobile Home Park. In February 1994 Gulfstream Procurements (AKA Dale Whittington) purchased the land from Dr. Benefield and the property was renamed Tampa Bay Golf & Tennis Club, Inc. At that time the Community Center, the tennis court, the shuffleboard courts and the swimming pool were built. Old Tampa Bay Drive only went as far as the tennis court. There was also a nine-hole golf course (hole number 1 is now number 4). After he purchased the land Dale Whittington began the process of building homes. The original homes that he sold were frame houses with vinyl siding. He did not start building concrete block and stucco homes until sometime in 1995.
When the home building cycle began Dale made a lot of deals with many of the prospective owners. After he bought a trailer, or a boat, or a vehicle that was located in another area, he would build a home for the new resident. The deeds for all of the new homes read as follows: Tampa Bay Golf and Tennis Club. The residents of the new community formed a CAC (Citizens Advisory Committee), and the CAC expressed its views on a variety of issues that arose. For example, the CAC was concerned about the landfill that was started south of the community along Old Pasco Road. There was also concern about the status of being a senior (55 plus) community. Later on the CAC evolved into HOA’s (Home Owner Associations).
In 1998 Dale Whittington sold everything to Transeastern Properties, Inc. A major investor in Transeastern Properties was Falcone Enterprises. During the subsequent years more roads were added. More homes were built and sold by Transeastern. Along the way a number of properties were sold to Lennar Homes (aka U.S. Homes). During that period of time the name was changed to Tampa Bay Golf and Country Club (TBG&CC), although many deeds still list the “Tennis Club.” The golf course was expanded into an 18-hole championship course, an Executive Course was added and the Clubhouse was erected. Those amenities were all owned by Falcone Enterprises.
As the community grew, governance issues began to crop up and sections of the community that met legal specifications were anointed as HOAs (Home Owners’ Associations). Today TBG&CC consists of ten HOA’s. Eventually, Transeastern Properties went bankrupt and Engle Homes (TOUSA) came in as the Declarant, taking over the unsold property lots. Falcone Enterprises retained ownership of the TBG&CC amenities.
In 2010, following a majority vote of the eligible residents to purchase the amenities, Starwood Corporation loaned the master association $3.75 million which enabled the residents to own the amenities (as the Tampa Bay Community Association). The $3.75 million was paid to Falcone Enterprises and to Engle Homes (TOUSA). At that point in time the residents of TBG&CC took over ownership of the amenities and Starwood Corporation owned all of the unsold lots. During the following year the Master Association made interest only payments to Starwood Corporation. By the end of that year the Finance Committee of the Master Association had facilitated a 15 year mortgage with BB & T Bank. The amount owed to Starwood Corporation was paid, leaving Starwood with ownership of all the unsold lots and the residents as owners of the amenities.
Starwood then sold lots to two builders – K. Hovnanian and Lennar. Homes began to be built and sold in large numbers. Eventually Lennar sold off all their homes leaving K. Hovnanian as the remaining home builder. Today no vacant lots remain.
Throughout the years of its existence TBG&CC has been governed by several Boards of Directors. When Transeastern Properties was the owner a three member Board of Directors consisting of their employees was the governing body. After 2010, a three member Board of Directors consisting of two Starwood employees and one resident member took over the governing role. Effective December 2014, the Master Association Board of Directors were seated. The Master Association Board consists of ten members, each elected by their respective HOA’s. There is also a Presidents’ Council that includes the Presidents of each of the HOA’s. That Council is advisory only.
Respectfully submitted by Phil Dahlinger.
Thanks go to Lou Scalfani, John Tedesco, Jim Easterday and Dave Hartung for their help and support!