Colony Lender LLC was the highest bidder on an 80% interest in 2.3 acres of property in the middle of the shuttered Colony Beach & Tennis Resort, along with a 100% interest in the property’s restaurant and longtime owner Dr. Murray “Murf” Klauber’s former penthouse office in an auction held this morning in Sarasota County Court.Managed by attorney David Siegal and developer Randy Langley, Colony Lender previously purchased overdue bank notes on the properties from Bank of America and received a judgment of more than $14.3 million in a foreclosure trial last year.
According to Siegal, after Colony Lender opened with a $1 bid, an undisclosed party bid $15.2 million for the interest. Colony Lender raised its bid to $15,200,100 and won the auction. The entire process took approximately three minutes.
Colony Lender also owns a 15% interest it purchased from Carolyn Field in the 2.3 acres of property, bringing its ownership stake in the property to 95% following today’s auction. Longtime Colony unit owner Andy Adams owns the remaining 5% interest.
Siegal said that Colony Lender has an agreement to sell all of its property assets to Unicorp, a potential Colony developer. Unicorp, a large retail, mixed-use and drug store developer, has also developed resort projects such as the Wyndham Hotel in Orlando.
Siegal referred questions about the resort’s future to Unicorp President Chuck Whittall, who was on vacation Monday and was not immediately available for comment.
When asked whether Colony Lender will be a long-term part of the resort’s future, Siegal said: “No. We’re gonna sell our assets. We’re not going to be a developer.”
The auction was originally scheduled for May but was postponed after Klauber entered one of his corporations attached to the auction into bankruptcy.
U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday canceled a separate auction for the Colony’s bankrupt Partnership estate in June, after Colony Lender filed an emergency appeal to overturn U.S. Bankruptcy Judge K. Rodney May’s ruling that had allowed the auction to proceed. In that auction, which has not yet been rescheduled, developers will bid on the right to negotiate with unit owners and could also use a winning bid to assess damages for a $23 million judgment Merryday previously awarded Klauber.
For more information, pick up a July 17 copy of the Longboat Observer.
Contact Robin Hartill at [email protected].