Unicorp offer sparks war of words among Colony parties


Unicorp offer sparks war of words among Colony parties


Date: August 11, 2014
by: Robin Hartill | Managing Editor




Unicorp National Developments Inc. President Chuck Whittall’s message to owners at the 237-unit Colony Beach & Tennis Resort:

“You remain personally liable — for millions.”

In an Aug. 6 letter to owners, Whittall warned them that their assets are at risk and urged them to choose one of four options to avoid future litigation.

“While some may take that as a threat, I communicate that to you as reality. The standoff between warring factions that has allowed this once pristine resort property to decline to a state of absolute disrepair and become less than an afterthought in the vacation marketplace will not continue on my watch. However, a litigated approach is not our preferred approach,” Whittall wrote.

Jay Yablon, president of the Colony Beach & Tennis Resort Association, told the Longboat Observer Monday:

“It’s not an offer. It’s an ultimatum based on numerous false and misleading statements.”

Colony Lender LLC has an agreement with Unicorp to transfer its resort assets — which include a 95% interest in a 2.3-acre recreational property at the center of the resort plus 100% ownership of the restaurant complex and the former penthouse office of longtime Colony owner Dr. Murray “Murf” Klauber.

Whittall envisions a five-star resort that will consist of a 160- to 175-room hotel, along with a couple hundred condo and tourist units for the property.

Offers outlined in his letter include the following plus no future liability for unit owners who are willing to deed their unit to Unicorp: $20,000 cash; free seven-day occupancy for five years in the future hotel; purchase a tourist unit at a 10% discount; or purchase a condo unit at a 10% discount.

“In the past, the units were habitable,” Whittall said. “Now, they’re more of a liability than a value. They can’t be lived in, have to be bulldozed and rebuilt. “God forbid there’s a hurricane, and there’s no insurance on them.”

Whittall said the new hotel could be called Hotel Armand or operate under a flag name but won’t be known as the Colony.

“I think the Colony has too many bad stigmas attached to it,” he said. “It’s time for something new and fresh.”

Yablon, however, accused Unicorp and Colony Lender of working to block any settlement among the parties.

“This is an attempted hostile takeover of the entire Colony,” he said. “It is an effort to perpetuate litigation at the Colony until everybody else gives up and walks away.”

For more information, pick up an Aug. 14 copy of the Longboat Observer.

Contact Robin Hartill at rhartill@yourobserver.com.


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Currently 3 Responses

  • 1.
  • Gotta love it! Where's the white knight when you need one?
    But, it ain't over 'til it's over.
  • Milan Adrian
    Tue 12th Aug 2014
    at 2:42pm
  • 2.
  • Sadly The Colony is no more and for many others what difference does it make. The condition of the property now is a blight on LBK. If you walk or bike past it, you see there is nothing there to save.

    Pride and ego got in the way of common sense, which in this situation has been sorely lacking or non existent. Ten years ago when the hurricane came through The Colony was damaged and never repaired. The owners through their board balked at paying their share of the repairs, now 10 years later it appears as if paying their share of the repairs was fair and reasonable, as the current owners have a huge judgment against what little equity might still exist. In this case the old adage applies, first loss is least loss. This does not even count the loss of use of their vacation home, additional worry and who knows what the ultimate cost to be.

    At some point even our local government may finally intervene and say enough is enough quit giving the board more to time to do nothing. It is ugly and needs to go. It is hurting the island in its current condition
  • Jack Brown
    Tue 12th Aug 2014
    at 1:00pm
  • 3.
  • It is Jay Yablon, a lawyer by trade, who wants to continue this senseless litigation ad infinitum. Unicorp's offer seems fair and reasonable at this stage in the game except that Andy Adam's will be taking more than a BATH as he stupidly set himself up as the fall guy who either will have to further litigate to reduce his share of the over hanging judgment or cooperate and take the loss on his iinvestment.
  • Lee Pokoik
    Mon 11th Aug 2014
    at 5:34pm
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