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Coral Hospitality oversaw management of the Sandpearl Resort, in Clearwater Beach, after its development in 2005. Courtesy photo.
Longboat Key Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012 9 years ago

Colony: Signs of progress?

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by: Robin Hartill Managing Editor

When the parties involved in the Colony Beach & Tennis Resort gave a status update in March, town commissioners bemoaned the lack of progress.

Tuesday, Sept. 4, those involved will be back in front of the commission.

That is when the Association will ask the commission during a quasi-judicial hearing to extend the Dec. 31 deadline for re-opening as a tourism property to June 2014.

But, in the meantime, those involved are working overtime to show commissioners evidence of what the commission wanted to see in March: progress.

At 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29, the Association’s board will meet to consider a recommendation of the Owner’s Redevelopment Advisory Committee to approve what board President Jay Yablon described in an email sent Monday night to unit owners as a “non-binding memorandum of understanding between Breakpointe LLC and Coral Hospitality LLC for concluding settlement negotiations among all parties and for redeveloping and reopening The Colony.”

Breakpointe LLC is owned by longtime Colony unit owner Andy Adams, whose entities own at least 48 of the resort’s 237 units, according to property records. Adams also owns a 5% interest in the resort’s three-acre tennis courts and recreational property.

Coral Hospitality is a Naples-based hospitality management and investment company. Its past projects have included managing the Sandpearl Resort on Clearwater Beach after its 2005 opening and the 2006 completion of a $12 million renovation of Casa Ybel Resort on Sanibel Island.

“In essence, Andy Adams and Coral Hospitality have negotiated a nonbinding agreement for how to proceed with both the settlement of disputes at the Colony and rebuilding and renovations,” Yablon told the Longboat Observer. “Wednesday’s board meeting will be for the purpose of signing into that agreement.”
Yablon said that the terms of the agreement are currently confidential.

Details, including the proposed mix of new and rehabilitated units, will be disclosed at Wednesday’s meeting, which is open to all unit owners.

Both Coral Hospitality and Adams’ AdamsMark L.P. were among four finalists for the redevelopment of the property in September 2011. The board selected the Broomfield, Colo.,-based Club Holdings Ventures as its development partner but terminated the agreement last May, in part because of the company’s concerns about the scope of looming legal issues.

Still, the commission was most concerned in March about seeing resolutions in the legal disputes surrounding the property, which the parties will take another stab at prior to Tuesday night’s meeting.

The morning of Tuesday, Sept. 4, three members of the Association’s Owners Redevelopment Advisory Committee and Association attorney Jeffrey Warren will meet with longtime Colony owner Dr. Murray “Murf” Klauber and his attorney, Charles Bartlett, to discuss the possibility of a settlement between Klauber, the Association and Breakpointe and Coral Hospitality, if the board approves the proposed agreement at Wednesday’s meeting.

In its petition to the town seeking an extension of the deadline, the Association wrote that Adams, who owns the 5% recreational interest, and Colony Lender LLC, which holds a 15% interest on the property’s three recreational acres and the mortgage on longtime Colony owner Dr. Murray “Murf” Klauber-related entities’ 80% interest on those three acres, in addition to a mortgage on other Klauber-related entities’ interests, do not oppose the petition.

David Siegal, principal of Colony Lender LLC, told the Longboat Observer earlier this month that his company agreed not to oppose the extension but has not expressed support for it.

“We want to give the Association and Dr. Klauber, if they want, every opportunity to fix the situation, so we said we have no opposition to it,” he said.

Klauber will attend Tuesday night’s commission meeting.

“I’ll be there and I’ll have things to say,” he told the Longboat Observer, declining to say whether he would support or oppose the petition.

But, regardless, there will be opposition to the petition at Tuesday’s meeting.

The board of the Aquarius Club, located next-door to the Colony, unanimously passed a resolution three weeks ago opposing the extension. Since then, the commission has received multiple emails from Aquarius Club unit owners who say they are fed up with the condition of the property.

Yablon reached out to the Aquarius Club board after learning of their frustrations. Monday, the Association entered into a $35,000 maintenance contract with Valley Crest LLC for landscaping work at the Colony, which could begin as early as Saturday.

But, in an Aug. 20 email to Vice Mayor David Brenner, the board’s president, Frank Morneau, expressed continued opposition to the extension:

“On the subject of their statements, never — until this date — have we heard from their president or board asking for any possible concerns we at the Aquarius might have and the damages we are incurring. Only now are they endeavoring to be ‘the good guys’ and offering to employ our landscapers and place rat traps, etc. We have refrained from discussion so as to not interfere with your decision process. All of our comments to you still hold 100%. We must force them into action without waiting to the courts to give absolute directive which could take years.”

At press time, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge K. Rodney May had not ruled in three separate cases involving the property.

ON THE MOVE
After more than 38 years, longtime Colony owner Dr. Murray “Murf” Klauber has left the midrise building that has been his home since just before Christmas 1973.

Klauber temporarily moved out of his residential unit and offices on the fifth and six floors of the Colony’s midrise building after he received an Association report showing that mold in the building was a growing problem.

“Every minute that I’m out here is a hateful minute,” said Klauber, who said that he has “friends who have helped out and taken wonderful care of me.”

According to Association President Jay Yablon, the report found that water intrusion from Tropical Storm Debby created the mold issue.

But Klauber disagrees, saying that he notified the Association approximately two years ago of leaks within the building.

“I think it’s the most preposterous, amateurish accusation,” Klauber said, describing the report’s claim of Debby being the cause of mold. “How could you get mold in six weeks?”

Yablon said that he was unaware of any leaks other than those caused by the swimming pool, which is controlled by Klauber.

Klauber said that he currently has three buckets in his unit to catch water and that he has had damages to his furniture, antiques and artwork.

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