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Colony goes to vote

STEVE REID
Editor & Publisher
sreid@lbknews.com

The future redevelopment of The Colony Beach and Tennis Resort on Longboat Key has officially gone to a vote.

Last week, Unicorp National Development executed a development and settlement agreement with the Colony Board of Directors. It took months, albeit years, for such an agreement to come to fruition and will take at least 75 percent of the unit owners to support in order to come to fruition.

Colony Association President Jay Yablon wrote to owners on Aug. 25 that within a week they will receive a voting package and that he expects the board to allow a six week voting period.

Yablon put in historical tone in his memo to owners, “After more than 10 years of dispute at The Colony, your approval of this agreement will finally put an end to all remaining litigation and will finally initiate a redevelopment of The Colony. Your approval of this agreement will allow those of us who have been waiting to cash out for a good return to do so, and will allow those of us wishing to enjoy future years with their family and friends at the new Colony to do so.”

The agreement proposes to pay $130,800 to each unit owner, within an additional $100,000 to owners of the 15 units with water front views.

The owners of the beachfront units will be offered a $200,000 premium over the $130,800.

Part of the conundrum in gaining approval or in redevelopment is the fact that multi-unit owner Andy Adams can potentially make or break any deal. Adams owns about 30 percent of The Colony units and therefore his support for any redevelopment is necessary. Unicorp President Chuck Whittall told Longboat Key News that he’s optimistic Adams will support the proposal, but adds that he has not received indication of how Adams will vote.

For Whittall, the recent weeks have been a positive display of forward momentum at the property. Over the past week, Unicorp has demolished several Colony structures on the 2.3 acres that it owns. Unicorp bought the 2.3 acres from Colony Lender and closed on those interests earlier this month.

“I feel like we have made significant progress. We have signed an agreement that ends the litigation, we have a development plan out for a vote, and we have engaged the architect and the engineers and the construction company,” said Whittall.

Whittall said that while the unit owners are deciding their vote his architects and planners will be busy at work and he expects to have the exterior design work completed by end of December. Whittall said he plans to digitally represent what the future Colony will look like and use that presentation to talk to property owners on Longboat Key next spring as he sets the stage for a referendum vote.

A referendum vote will be necessary for Unicorp to build its plan comprised of 180 hotel rooms and 180 condominiums with shared amenities. The site currently has 237 grandfathered tourism units on the 17.3-acre site. The residential units that Whittall seeks would have to be approved by voters.

For Whittall, he is much happier to be pursuing the approval of the owners and of the community for redevelopment rather than to continue in litigation in the courthouse.

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Longboat Key News

1 Response for “Colony goes to vote”

  1. RAPTOULIS MD says:

    Rome wasn’t built in a day , but the Colony isn’t Rome. Get on with it or your patrons may ALL be dead.This is not rocket science or medical clinical trials.Its a resort ya know bricks and mortar.

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