Emails: Celebration Pointe owes $780K in taxes 

People walking around Celebration Pointe.
Alachua County hired an outside law firm on Tuesday to monitor bankruptcy filings from Celebration Pointe.
Courtesy of Phillip Bergman

Alachua County hired an outside law firm on Tuesday to monitor bankruptcy filings from Celebration Pointe, and emails obtained by Mainstreet Daily News show the main concern is outstanding property taxes.  

According to a filing for Celebration Pointe Holdings, LLC, the tax debt totals at least $780,000—a number much higher than previously reported. 

Mainstreet obtained the emails through a public records request. In one message, Deputy County Attorney Bob Swain told a Marks Gray attorney that Alachua County—which partnered with Viking Companies to open a sports and events center last year—sees more risks than just the unpaid property taxes.  

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“We have spoken with the [tax collector] and don’t see any conflict,” Swain said. “But there are so many interrelated corporations that we want to make sure that the County is not left holding the bag through inaction.”   

Swain referenced outstanding debt for the construction of the I-75 bridge that provides access to Celebration Pointe. He said the outstanding debt “may or may not be significant.”  

In total, the April filing for Celebration Pointe Holdings, LLC shows a debt of $217 million—which is also higher than previously reported. 

The bankruptcy filings include a list of more than 20 creditors. Scott Shuker, attorney for Celebration Pointe, told Mainstreet in March that the Chapter 11 filings allow the company to undergo a debt payment restructuring and force creditors to work with the company.  

“There were a couple of creditors who would not play ball,” Shuker said in March, citing them as the reason the entities were pushed into formal bankruptcy proceedings to restructure.  

The bankruptcies include three different Celebration Pointe companies, and Shuker said the parent company owns the land where businesses—like Regal Cinemas, Bass Pro Shop, Spurriers Gridiron Grille and Prime & Pearl—rent space. So, no impact would be seen by those tenants or their customers.  

Shuker, who said he only represents the three entities in bankruptcy, did not respond to a call and email on Wednesday seeking comment for this story.  

Many other interrelated corporations are named in bankruptcy documents, including Celebration Pointe Holdings, LLC, Celebration Pointe Holdings II, LLC, SHD-Celebration Pointe, LLC, Celebration Pointe Capital, LLC, GNV RE CP Fund, LLC, Celebration Pointe CDD No. 1, Celebration Pointe Association, Celebration Pointe Office Partners, Viking Companies, Viking Construction Co., Inc., Viking Partner Fund I, Viking Property Solutions LLC, Viking Property Management, LLC. 

Creditors include both financial institutions and local companies, such as Frankel Media, which is located at Celebration Pointe.  

In the county emails, Swaim referenced why Alachua County needed outside expertise.  

“Our office routinely represents the [tax collector] in a number of areas and we have just recently taken over watching over routine bankruptcies,” Swaim said. “This one is far from routine.”   

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So who is running the Alachua County Commissioners Sheet Show? Is it LiL Kenney? Is it Alford I don’t know where I live but I will take tens of thousands of dollars in illegitimate salary until I am caught and have to reimburse my taxpayers. What failed leadership, honesty, and decisions this group produces. They own their despicable agenda and should be held accountable for the financial damages to taxpayers. Wasn’t Money Bags on the corrupt Gainesville City Commission as well? Recall them All.


Don’t forget Slaughterhouse Prizzia.


Why is she called Slaughterhouse?

Concerned County Taxpayer

Kudos to Seth Johnson for such timely reporting, and knowing how to use the Florida Public Records laws. You have just scratched the surface of this “item.” PLEASE keep it up. This “item” is so huge, if you crack the case first I predict a book and a Pulitzer are in your future. This “item” is that big. Really.

Not counting the 50 other shell corporations at Celebration Pointe, just the three bankrupt companies owe Alachua County $110,200 for 2023 taxes and owe $186,247 to redeem the tax certificates for taxes they never paid between 2018 and 2022.

Thankfully today the Governor vetoed the $2.75 million from the state budget that Chuck Clemons stuck in to subsidize his favorite development, Celebration Point, for the upcoming financial disaster known as the 2025 World Masters Track Meet.

I hope you are following the federal bankruptcy court case closely. There was a hearing May 24, and another is scheduled soon. The first Payables, Receivables, Balance Sheet, P&L, Cash Flow Reports for the three bankrupt LLCs have been filed. I trust you will obtain them and report on them.,_LLC

The comments section on this local news article has more background information on the Celebration Pointe that is very relevant to this issue:

On May 28,2024 the BOCC voted to write a check TO Viking for about a quarter million dollars to unnecessarily buy out Viking’s option to buy the West End Golf Course. I pray the Federal Bankruptcy Court and the lawyers for the creditors can get this cheek frozen and applied to the creditors. In my opinion, the BOCC writing a taxpayer check TO Viking at this point is just criminal.

It is about time the media and county attorney are showing interest in the “so many interrelated corporations” in the Celebration Pointe empire. For comparison, Donald Trump runs a huge worldwide empire through the use of 500 LLCs. The 200 acres of the Celebration Pointe are run through over 50 LLCs that hire each other endlessly. Why so many? The only reason is to obfuscate the cash flow. I predict that only a Grand Jury with subpoena power and a good forensic account will ever be able to answer the question “where DID all the money go?”
Just my opinion.
So far.

Amber E

Interesting too that a creditor is Frankel Media, another business the County regularly contracts with. They did some sort of ad campaign for Animal Resources, with absolutely no actual results.


Is this what they mean by ‘creative’ financing? Spread a duplicative debt load among many different companies and voila, instant additional capital.

This looks a lot like New York City or Washington DC. It just doesn’t smell right.


And all the while we, the Alachua County taxpayers, are FORCED to drive on county roads with potholes as big as moon craters.

Tourist Bed Tax Slush Fund

Katie: the BOCC has totally embraced the idea that promoting Tourism is their number one goal. They get a 5% bed tax on hotel stays in Alachua County. State law only allows that money to be spent on certain things. Massive amounts of tourists create traffic jams for locals, like you, and make potholes worse, for locals like you. But: State Law says Tourist tax money CANNOT be spent on roads. By promoting tourism, the BOCC makes local roads worse and YOU have to pay to fix it. Election in November.


It doesn’t matter that they haven’t paid taxes. The County sells the tax liens to investors who can foreclose on the property to get their money even if the bank or lenders foreclose, the taxes and tax liens have to be paid. So taxpayers need not worry. ONly the banks and investors in Celebration have to worry.


Wrong, dennis. The Tax Collector does not sell tax certificates for entities in bankruptcy. Tax certificates for 2023 for Celebration Pointe were NOT sold on June 1, and will not be for bankruptcy duration. The old GE battery plant in Hague was in bankruptcy court for several years and no tax certificates were sold. Look it up. But thanks for playing and attempting to defend Bankrupt Svein.