Approval of the proposed buyout offer for Colony Beach & Tennis Resort condo unit owners was always going to come down to majority owner Andy Adams.
Adams, a Tennessee developer, controls 75 units, and his vote alone could block the proposal, which requires 90% approval — 216 of 237 condo unit owners.
And, at least initially, he has voted against Orlando developer Chuck Whittall’s offer to buy out his condo units and all others on the former tennis resort.
Jay Yablon, president of Colony Beach & Tennis Resort Association Board of Directors, has targeted achieving at least 91% approval from owners for a purchase and development deal with Whittall’s Unicorp Acquisitions LLC. Yablon said such a majority would give the association “safe harbor” from any possible legal challenges.
As of press time Tuesday, a total of 119 unit owners voted yes and 36 voted no so far, according to Yablon. The association requested unit owners vote by Nov. 10.
Owners can still rescind or even change their votes.
“There is a very good chance in the next 24 hours, 30 of those ‘no’ votes will be withdrawn,” Yablon said. “Out of 36 ‘no’ votes, only six came from individual owners who do not control large blocs of units.”
Whittall confirmed Tuesday afternoon that Adams cast 30 of the “no” votes, and he continues to be in talks with Adams in hopes of changing his 30 “no” votes into “yes” votes. Adams also has 45 votes he has yet to cast out of his total of 75.
“Talks are going good,” Whittall said. “All I can say right now is Mr. Adams and I are having good discussions.”
Adams’ rejection could block Whittall’s plans. Florida law on termination of a condo association states: “If 10% or more of the total voting interests of the condominium have rejected the plan of termination by negative vote or by providing written objections, the plan may not proceed.”
The law also dictates a subsequent plan may not be considered for 18 months after the date of rejection.
Before the vote, Adams said he did not wish to discuss his position on the redevelopment proposal until after it is settled.
“I’d really rather not get into it right now,” Adams said. “I just don’t want to negotiate in a public forum.”
He did say he was ready for negotiations to conclude successfully.
“I just wish we could get to a point where everybody is moving forward and we could have a more detailed discussion,” Adams said by phone from his home in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Condo unit owner acceptance of the association’s proposed purchase, sale and development deal with Unicorp Acquisitions LLC would trigger a $1 billion redevelopment of the Colony Beach and Tennis Resort at 1620 Gulf of Mexico Drive. A series of bankruptcy filings led to the closure of the resort in 2010, following a dispute between longtime resort owner Murf Klauber and unit owners that began in 2004 over who was responsible for paying for a series of repairs.
The 86-page deal was mailed to owners Sept. 15. Notarized votes were to be returned by mail by Nov. 10, but Yablon said votes coming in after the soft deadline will be accepted.
“There really is no deadline per se,” he said. “As long as we have not opted out of the development agreement and Unicorp has not opted out of the development agreement, we can take the time to vote.”