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Colony termination challenged in court

Without approval to demolish the old condo units, St. Regis developer cannot move forward with plans.

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  • | 12:43 p.m. April 30, 2018
  • Longboat Key
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At least four motions to dismiss a case to terminate the Colony Beach & Tennis Club Association have been filed in an attempt to derail Unicorp National Developments’ move to disband the condo association and build a St. Regis Hotel and Residences.

Unicorp Colony Units sued The Colony Beach & Tennis Club Association in January, alleging that the association did not maintain the property to the point that it was damaged irreparably.

Unicorp contends in its lawsuit that the permanent damage to the property, and the fact that it can’t be refurbished, gives the developer, as a unit owner, authority to seek “equitable relief, which may include a termination of the condominium and a partition.”

Two almost identical motions filed with the 12th Judicial Circuit Court allege Unicorp does not have authority under Florida law to seek termination of the condominium association. It lacks the sufficient majority of unit owners necessary to disband the federation, the motions contend.

This allegation asserts that Florida condominium laws protect unit owners by requiring a majority vote of unit owners to make changes to property owned by an association – barring a single owner, or even an association, from making decisions that would impact all other unit owners.

Another motion, filed on behalf of New Colony LLC, managed by James-Allen McPheeters through Cross Street Corporate Services LLC, claims Unicorp, in its lawsuit against the association, didn’t include documents detailing the town’s intent to demolish the structures or other authorizing information from unit owners and association members.

All three motions were filed April 24.

A claim filed April 25 on behalf of Sheldon and Carol Rabin asserts that Unicorp has failed to explain why conventional methods of termination, including a 75% majority vote from unit owners, were not used.

If it wants to develop the property, termination of the condominium association is a must for Unicorp — an Orlando-based development company that received approval from the Town Commission to build a 166-room, 78 condominium St. Regis Hotel and Residences on the site of the former Colony Beach & Tennis Resort.

The Orlando-based developer cannot demolish the 237 units that exist on the 17.6 acre property unless the condominium association is dissolved. Whittall did not respond to request for comment.


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