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Colony demolition delayed until late next week

The demolition of the once iconic Longboat Key resort has been delayed until Thursday, July 26, due to scheduling conflicts with the developer.

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  • | 10:21 a.m. July 20, 2018
  • Longboat Key
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Demolition of the Colony Beach & Tennis Resort buildings has been delayed until Thursday, July 26.

Chuck Whittall, the president of Unicorp National Developments Inc., plans to begin knocking down 26 of the 27 buildings on the 17.6 acre property in preparation for development of his proposed St. Regis Hotel and Residences. Whittall said he plans to open the new facility in 2021, though obstacles remain before building permits can be granted and ground can be broken.

Whittall said his development company, which was awarded the demolition contract after a zero-dollar bid, has been getting state approvals and is now waiting on notice from the town approving the demolition, which he expects to receive by Monday.

The demolition was originally scheduled to begin on July 16, then was pushed back to July 23. Once complete, the property is to be sodded until the 27th building can be demolished and legal proceedings completed. 

One of those proceedins is scheduled to be addressed Tuesday with a partition sale of the 2.3 acres of recreational property — of which Whittall owns 95% and Breakpoint LLC, managed by Andy Adams, who owns 70 units, owns 5%.

The partition sale is based on ownership: if Whittall wins the bid, he will only have to pay 5% of the total cost to acquire the property. Adams, if he won, would have to pay 95% of the bid amount to get the property.

The second proceeding comes in Unicorp’s legal petition to terminate the condominium association, a case in which no court date has been set. The issue here is that even though Unicorp plans to demolish the buildings at the site of the former Colony, the unit owners still have a vested interest in the property. 

Unicorp must own 100% of the property before it may begin construction of its 166-room, 78-condominium beach resort. 

The 27th building was not part of Longboat Key's emergency demolition order, which cited safety concerns with the state of the Colony buildings as justification for tearing them down. That order survived a legal challenge in June. 

Longboat Key leaders approved Whittall's plan for the redevelopment of the resort earlier this year, with a 6-1 vote on March 16.


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