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Longboat Key Wednesday, May 23, 2018 2 years ago

Beachfront units can be fixed, owner says

Blake Fleetwood, a beachfront unit owner at the site of the former Colony Beach and Tennis Resort, said that a property appraiser valued his property at a price that gives the investor authority to fix his property.
by: Bret Hauff Staff Writer

Manfred Welfonder once proposed to develop the former site of the Colony Beach & Tennis Resort.

Now he’s working with a group of owners who have tried to stop another developer’s plan to build at the property.

This past week, Welfonder, representing beachfront owners, visited the site of the former Colony resort with two engineers, two appraisers and a contractor along with Unicorp National Developments President Chuck Whittall to survey the beachfront units to determine whether they can be salvaged.

Blake Fleetwood, one of the unit owners who’s publicly opposed Unicorp’s plan to build at the site, said he and Welfonder play tennis together and, over the course of many conversations, “mutually sought” a partnership.

“He’s down there and he knows people in town government, in the course of lots of conversations with him on the tennis courts, he volunteered to represent us,” Fleetwood said of Welfonder.

Welfonder said he volunteered because he wanted to try to help protect the “very valuable assets” that are the beachfront units.  The former hopeful developer said this past week that he’s representing the interests of Fleetwood, Ruth Kreindler, Shelly Rabin, Gordon Bratter, Jeff Jagid and Andy Adams, many of whom have challenged Unicorp’s development project in court.

“There are no emotions involved. This is an attempt to protect very valuable assets,” Welfonder said. 

This project is both doable under town regulations and feasible related to cost and revenue projections, Welfonder said.  

Fleetwood said he plans to begin refurbishing his unit “immediately,” pending approval from the Colony Beach & Tennis Club Association to do so.

If the condominium association blocks Fleetwood’s plans, he said he would pursue legal action.

“We have plans to start fixing up our units, but the association may not give us permission to fix up the units, therefore we will have to get a court order to force the association to give us the ability to fix them,” Fleetwood said.


I’m a Longboat Key Staff Reporter. I write stories about how decisions and events affect the island, its leaders and its citizens. I received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Emerson College, where I wrote for The Boston Globe. Reach me at 941-366-3468 ext. 333.

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