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Longboat Key Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 5 years ago

Colony unit owners in discussion with PZ&B

by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

The shuttered Colony Beach & Tennis Resort might have some life left in it after all.

Planning, Zoning and Building Director Robin Meyer said his staff has held informal meetings with some Colony Beach & Tennis Resort unit owners to discuss renovations to their units. In particular, Meyer said, discussions have been held to possibly open some beachfront buildings on the property.

“Owners we have held discussions with have hired a contractor to perform renovation estimates,” Meyer said.

The owners, which Meyer declined to disclose because no permits for work have been filed, have also hired an appraiser to establish the value of the buildings they might seek to re-open.

Florida Emergency Management Association (FEMA) mandates owners are limited to spending no more than 50% of the value of an existing structure that doesn’t adhere to current flood regulations. Meyer said unit owners trying to open up a beachfront building or two just might be successful.

“The beachfront units sit on a concrete slab, have no foundation issues and have minimal siding,” Meyer said. “FEMA says you can’t make foundation repairs, and we don’t believe the beachfront buildings have those types of issues.”

The rest of the buildings around the property use wooden pilings as part of the foundation and Meyer suggests it might be a stretch to convince FEMA that repairs to those dilapidated buildings aren’t also bolstering weakened foundations.

Colony Beach & Tennis Resort Association President Jay Yablon declined to disclose who was working behind the scenes to open some of the buildings. 

“Some owners have taken it upon themselves as individuals to try and open up their units,” Yablon said. “They have the right as taxpayers to go to the town, but it’s not a sanctioned activity by the Association.”

It’s been rumored that Andy Adams, who now owns more than a quarter of the 232 units at the Colony, is behind the initiative and favors renovating the Colony buildings, one by one.

Adams could not be reached for comment, and Yablon declined to comment about Adams’ involvement.

Yablon said a Colony owners meeting will be held at the end of February to discuss other potential redevelopment proposals.

In the meantime, Meyer told the Longboat Observer his department has also heard rumblings that longtime Colony Beach & Tennis Resort owner Dr. Murray “Murf” Klauber will be at Town Hall to hold preliminary discussions about the Vagabond beach unit that he still owns on the beach at the Colony property.

“We have heard Dr. Klauber is very interested in trying to rehabilitate that property so he can move in there,” Meyer said.

Both Klauber and Bartlett declined comment.

Klauber stalls Colony Lender foreclosure
Longtime Colony Beach & Tennis Resort owner Dr. Murray “Murf” Klauber placed three of his Colony-owned companies into Chapter 11 bankruptcy Friday, Jan. 11, stalling a Colony Lender LLC foreclosure hearing that was slated for Monday Jan. 14, in a Sarasota Clerk of the Court courtroom.

Resort Management Inc., Colony Inc. and Colony Beach & Tennis Inc. were placed into bankruptcy Friday afternoon. The companies represent collateral on a $13 million debt owed to Colony Lender principals David Siegal and Randy Langley.

“It was not unexpected,” Siegal said. “It’s the last thing Dr. Klauber can do to try and stall our foreclosure.”
Siegal said he is preparing an application for the Tampa-based U.S. Middle District Court of Florida Bankruptcy Court to revert the Chapter 11 filing to a Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy.

“The entities have no business being a Chapter 11 filing, because they do no business and no reorganization of the companies are needed,” Siegal said.

If successful, Siegal said the conversion to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy could get Colony Lender’s Sarasota foreclosure back on track in a local courtroom by March, at the latest.

Colony Lender is attempting to foreclose on the approximately $13 million owed to them, which includes taxes, interest and the principal of the loans Colony Lender acquired.

Klauber said he’s focusing more on getting the Colony back on track than dealing with a foreclosure hearing.

Colony attorney Charles Bartlett said the strategy behind the companies entering bankruptcy is to have the bankruptcy court make determinations as to when, how much and what priority Colony Lender will get paid when the time comes.

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