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Colony sale decision stalled until May

STEVE REID
Editor & Publisher
sreid@lbknews.com

As reported last week, the sale of 74 units of the former Colony Beach and Tennis Resort to Unicorp was stalled due to the Coronavirus.

At a court hearing last Monday, both sides agreed to continue the issue until May.

In the courtroom, Unicorp argued that the pandemic was unseen and unprecedented and has brought a halt to most business and therefore extending the closing date that was originally March 31 was necessary.

Andy Adams through his attorneys argue that the closing is a straightforward matter and that Adams had all of the necessary deeds and completed paperwork at the title agency and was prepared to close and all it took was Unicorp showing up with the money. Adams contends that he is entitled to the $2 million deposit placed by Unicorp and that the contract was breached.

Both parties seek to have the contract performed, but Adams wants it done immediately and Unicorp is asking the court to extend the closing until the pandemic lifts and business returns to normal.

Sarasota Circuit Court Judge Hunter Carroll asked for each attorney to write memos and briefs relating to the issue of Force Majeure, and whether the pandemic rises to the level of an unforeseen event sometimes referred to as an act of God.

Another issue the Judge debated with the attorneys is whether the fact that there was a specific closing date in the contract creates a de facto “time is of the essence” mandate.

There was no “time of the essence” clause specifically embedded in the contract between the two parties.

Would-be Colony redeveloper Unicorp, run by Chuck Whittall, has an agreement with Andy Adams to buy out his remaining interest of 74 units that was due to close on March 31.

On March 18, Unicorp asked Adams to extend the closing date due to the extraordinary circumstances related to the Coronavirus pandemic. Adams refused on March 19.

After the March 31 closing date came and went without the transfer of the property, both parties filed complaints in Sarasota Circuit Court.

Adams argues that he is prepared to perform all the obligations required under the contract and that Unicorp has failed. His complaint goes onto say that the contract mandates that the parties perform their obligations on a date and time certain but that Unicorp contends its obligations have “been tolled as a matter of law due to COVID-19.”

Unicorp maintains that the current and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the various related declarations, mandates, and orders made by Federal, State and Local agencies/courts have resulted in a complete shutdown of all non-essential commerce in the State of Florida and nearly everywhere in the United States.”

Unicorp successfully received an approval in 2018 from the Town of Longboat Key to allow the construction of a St. Regis Hotel and Luxury Condominiums. Whittall needs to consolidate complete ownership of the property before he can receive a building permit. Over the past year, Whittall successfully has reached an agreement with every unit owner with the exception of Adams who owns about 74 units.

Adams and Whittall were destined to hold a court trial this month and Judge Hunter Carroll was due to decide if the property should be auctioned to the highest bidder or whether Adams should be compelled to sell at fair market value to Unicorp.

Now, the issue will continue in May and the judge will decide if the contract will be enforced, delayed or executed or has been breached.

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Longboat Key News

1 Response for “Colony sale decision stalled until May”

  1. In england-WE WOULD CALL IT A BUGGERS MUDDLE!!!!!

    Hope you are all safe AND not playing golf or going to the beach as some are in Florida-WHAT IDIOTS.

    come to London and see the deaths!!

    STAY SAFE!!!!

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