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Colony developer has agreed to new terms with unit owners, Colony Association president says

Unicorp President Chuck Whittall met with members of the Colony Association on Wednesday.

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  • | 3:30 p.m. April 21, 2017
  • Longboat Key
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In an email to Colony Beach and Tennis Resort unit owners, Colony Association President Jay Yablon said the property’s developer has agreed to pay owners the originally proposed amount for their units and dismiss legal disputes involving the association.

In a March 14 referendum, Longboat Key voters denied Unicorp National Developments' original proposal for the property, which included adding 180 residential units to the property’s existing 237 tourism units. Chuck Whittall, president of Unicorp, had initially offered owners between $130,000 and $200,000 per unit, but after the referendum results were announced, Whittall said that offer would need to be lowered.

“Obviously with us losing the density we had sought after, it changes the value of the property,” Whittall said the morning after the election. “If you can build less on it, it’s worth less.”

Upon hearing the results, Whittall offered $50,000 per unit to any owner who would be willing to sell immediately. According to Yablon, that’s no longer the case.

Yablon and other members of the Colony Association’s development committee met with Whittall on Wednesday April 19. In his email to unit owners following the meeting, Yablon said that Whittall had revived his initial offer.

“I am very pleased to advise you that Chuck has agreed to keep intact, without any reductions, the consideration paid and all other benefits provided to the unit owners under the present development agreement,” Yablon wrote.

Further, Yablon said Whittall had agreed to dismiss the appeal of the recent recreational lease ruling in exchange for the Colony Association waiving its sanctions recovery, “resulting in final closure of those disputes with no further legal costs.”

As of Friday afternoon, Whittall had not returned calls from The Longboat Observer seeking comment. 

Yablon said the committee will schedule a public board meeting in the near future to discuss these new developments.

“It will be the committee's recommendation to the board and to the owners to continue the present development agreement with Unicorp, as necessarily amended to address these positive changes,” Yablon wrote.

Yablon shared the email with members of the Longboat Key Town Commission, noting that the agreement comes “less than two weeks shy of the tenth anniversary of the first lawsuit at the Colony.”

“We look forward to your assistance and cooperation in finally bringing the Colony back to life with the help of Unicorp and Charles Whittall, whom I expect will remain our business partner of choice in this undertaking,” Yablon told the commission.



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