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Longboat Key Wednesday, May 25, 2011 8 years ago

Colony Lender acquires ownership share

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by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

Colony Lender LLC acquired Friday the 15% interest of the Colony Beach & Tennis Resort’s recreational/resort assets previously owned by the Carolyn Field Trust Friday, according to Colony Lender partner David Siegal.

Colony Lender paid $766,350 for the interest.

The acquisition could potentially give Colony Lender a 95% interest in recreational/resort property that includes a maintenance area (laundry, flower shop, conference center and fitness center), the administration center at the front of the property, the tennis courts, commercial condominiums in the hotel building, the resort kitchen and resort conference areas.

Colony unit owner Andy Adams owns the other 5% interest in the property.

Tim Field told the Longboat Observer he and his mother, Carolyn Field, had intended to sell their interest for a long time.

“We were just waiting for the right offer,” Field said. “We sold to Colony Lender because they had the best offer.”

Colony Lender already has an 80% secured interest in the properties, because it owns bank loans belonging to longtime Colony owner Dr. Murray “Murf” Klauber. Colony Lender is foreclosing upon those loans and hopes to have a 12th Judicial Circuit Court judge schedule a hearing for June or July to set the total amount due on the loans.

Klauber still owns the 80% interest.

Said Siegal in a press release issued Friday: “The acquisition was made to protect the collateral of the loan, purchased from Bank of America, which is in foreclosure. A 95% interest in the so-called recreational facilities are much more secure than an 80% interest.”

Siegal said a third party “owning a piece of the puzzle” is now eliminated.

“The fewer moving parts, the fewer number of divergent interests, the better for the Colony,” Siegal wrote in his press release.

Siegal told the Longboat Observer that the collateral for the bank loan Colony Lender owns also includes Klauber’s 17,000-square-foot restaurant, his office penthouse unit on the sixth floor of the hotel and another rental unit.

“The Field (interest) just added strength to that of our collateral, in which Dr. Klauber owns less than 100%,” Siegal said.

Colony Beach & Tennis Resort Association President Jay Yablon said the acquisition by Colony Lender eliminates a hurdle for the unit owners.

“It simplifies the situation going forward, by reducing the number of parties with asset ownership claims at the Colony,” said Yablon.

Going forward, the association could choose to buy the recreational property. However, if the association chooses not to buy the property, it could attempt to lease the property from Colony Lender and/or work with the company on a new development plan.

Yablon said the unit owners will select the top-three development proposals some time in June. Colony Lender’s plan is still under consideration.

Field, meanwhile, hopes the parties left at the Colony can come together to resurrect the resort.

“I just hope it comes together and everyone tries to resolve the issues by looking at the broad picture and not how much everyone can accumulate,” Field said. “If everyone is realistic, it can all come together.”

Residency requirement update
Longtime Colony Beach & Tennis Resort owner Dr. Murray “Murf” Klauber informed Planning, Zoning and Building Director Monica Simpson last week that he was giving the town until 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 24 to issue him a letter stating that his penthouse unit can be used as a residential unit 365 days a year.
The town, however, still hasn’t produced the letter.

Klauber has a contract pending for the penthouse unit and the Vagabond beach unit he owns, but the potential buyer wants the town to confirm residency is allowed in the unit all year long.

So far, Simpson is not willing to issue the letter because she said she still has insufficient documentation from Klauber that states the penthouse unit he has owned for more than 40 years has always been his primary residence.

Simpson told the Longboat Observer that she needs legal documentation from Klauber that goes back as far as he can document to prove that the penthouse unit inside the hotel has been his primary residence.
Klauber, however, is upset that the letter isn’t being produced.

“The town is not cooperating,” Klauber said. “I independently own these units.”

Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].

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