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Unicorp’s Whittal presents plan to five Commissioners

STEVE REID
Editor & Publisher
sreid@lbknews.com

Unicorp National Developments Inc. President Chuck Whittall met with five of Longboat Key’s seven Town Commissioners this week to present his vision and ambitions to develop the Colony site into a “five-star resort.”

“The Commissioners were excited and receptive about getting a resort on the property,” said Whittall.

Whittall said he is stepping back from the litigation and will work with unit owners and is “open to dialogue and does not want to get mired down.”

Whittall said several unit owners have signed agreements to sell their units to Unicorp and several will close in the coming days.

Whittall must gain control of the units and property to execute his vision. Part of the coming trajectory is the pending sale of a $23 million judgment against the unit owners that is an asset in one of Klauber’s former entities – the General Partnership that managed the Resort, which has been closed since 2010. That judgment is for loss and damages an appeals court said was the fault of the Association of Unit Owners for not paying assessments that were due under the management agreement and that led to the failure of the Resort, which operated continuously by Klauber for more than 40 years.

Whittall told Longboat Key News that he admires Klauber’s achievements.

“I have learned that the Colony was the genesis of what Longboat Key is today. I take my hat off to Murf for being a pioneer. Now we want to do something new and special.”

Whittall has contracted with Earnest and Young, which is performing a market report on the West Coast of Florida to inform Unicorp the right mix of tourism and residential units and other aspects of the plan. Whittall also has employed an architectural firm to start the planning and designing phase. Whittall said the resort would be flagged by a 5-star luxury brand.

To get to the point of executing these plans, Whittall must ultimately gain complete control of the property whether through agreement or the courts.

The Association of Unit Owners have continued to convey plans to gain control of the $23 million judgment mentioned above to remove that threat and have vowed that they can develop a 15-acre resort even of Colony Lender and Whittall control the 2.2 acres of recreational amenities and many other parcels within the 17.3 acre property.

For Commissioner Terry Gans, who met individually with Whittall, as did Commissioners Phil Younger, Pat Zunz, Lynn Larson and Irwin Pastor, the meeting is all part of the process.

Said Gans: ”I’ve seen other very nice visions; that’s the process. I am sure what he is showing is not the endpoint. He has to work on getting control of he property. I have no bias toward one developer or another. But

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2 Responses for “Unicorp’s Whittal presents plan to five Commissioners”

  1. ghost rider says:

    “What Unicorps is saying is that if they get control of the property, they will try and go out and raise the money for a development.”

    BINGO.

    “They are trying to steal the property on the cheap. They have no experience with this kind of resort.
    The commissioners are too smart for this kind of con job.”

    How many of these commissioners actually looked at Unicorps track record?
    The first and foremost rule is to tell people what they want to hear. And be sure to promise them a tennis spa.
    There’s no $500 million.
    The tent is filled with clowns. Their VW bug is parked outside.

  2. Blake Fleetwood says:

    What Unicorps is saying is that if they get control of the property, they will try and go out and raise the money for a development.

    We have heard that before. They are trying to steal the property on the cheap. They have no experience with this kind of resort.

    The commissioners are too smart for this kind of con job. Whittall says he is on the verge of buying two units.

    If he really wants to develop the Colony he should go out and buy 200 at whatever going rate he can.

    Andy Adams has about 80. The LBK News should not be giving so much space to this man.

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