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War is over at Colony Resort

STEVE REID
Editor & Publisher
sreid@lbknews.com

Ownership and control of the Colony is finally in the hands of Unicorp President Chuck Whittall.

Whittall closed last Thursday on the 75 units of the former Colony Beach & Tennis Resort that were owned by Andy Adams.

The sale marks the end of a more than five-year-long struggle by Whittall to consolidate ownership of the 237-unit former resort.

Now that he bought Adams’ units for an undisclosed amount, Whittall can legally market and sell condominiums that will form the financial basis for a future hotel and resort that was approved by the Town of Longboat Key on the 17.2-acre site.

Whittall told Longboat Key News that he paid Adams a significant down payment in cash with the balance due via a mortgage, over the next 12 months.

Unicorp plans to start selling units the day after Thanksgiving this Fall if the Coronavirus pandemic is fully resolved.

Whittall needs both the housing market to be strong and for the hotel and vacation market to have also fully recovered and waiting precludes having to discount the price of units.

Whittall is optimistic, “Even during the pandemic, northerners are seeing that Florida is a great place to be, and we may not even see a depression in the housing market. We are looking at months, not years anymore, for this project to begin.”

The acquisition of the Colony has happened in stages. Whittall and Unicorp own 115 units outright. He now has bought Adams’ 75 units that had essentially blocked him from moving forward. Whittall has the remaining 122 units under contract with a specific performance clause. He plans to close on the remaining 122 units when he receives bank financing after the presales are accomplished.

Last month, the deal with Adams had not been executed because Whittall said the Coronavirus pandemic had interfered with business. After the month of delay, and with a 10-hour mediation, Adams and Whittall finally closed last week.

“Andy and I have always remained gentlemen with each other, even when we could not reach agreement. Andy wanted one thing, and we wanted another—we met in the middle of the road,” said Whittall about the final negotiation.

Whittall says that Unicorp in total will have spent between $75 million to $80 million to purchase all of the units and land at the Colony and settle the litigation.

“We are not getting a deal on the land acquisition, we will make our money in the development of the property,” said Whittall.

Whittall is approved for and plans to build 69 luxury condominiums, and a 166-room St. Regis Hotel Resort. He said the project will take about three years to complete.

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Longboat Key News

7 Responses for “War is over at Colony Resort”

  1. Holly Koiro says:

    My dad, Arthur Portz, was one of the original owners. He loved The Colony. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2002 but I am glad he didn’t have to see all that has transpired. It would have broken his heart.

  2. Holly Koiro says:

    I was upset when we sold my Dad’s unit for about 25 cents on the dollar just before all this mess came about. Now it seems like a blessing in disguise for all the lost time, stress, money, and heartache that keeping it would have cost.
    I do look forward to seeing it redeveloped and visiting again someday. Best of luck to Mr. Whitall.

  3. All I can say is that I am very pleased I did not purchase a unit at The Colony-because I do not think repayment of the agreed amount will be forthcoming for some while (if ever).

    Who is going to be coming to Longboat Key in the future from Europe-maybe not for a long long time – we have been coming for nearly 25 years but I do not think we will be arriving this year.

    We can now explore the great parts of UK.

    Cannot believe people are still playing golf in Florida-they do not respect their life and family-they are MAD!!!

    Looks like Mr Trump will sort it-had any antifreeze recently?????

  4. Thomas Hoffman says:

    The St Regis Development is the Begining of the end of life on Longboat as we know it. Our highway System is woefully inadequate. Our town Commission talks,Talks but that’s all it amounts too. To maintain life on longboat we need action and fewer babelmouths.

  5. Steve P says:

    To think I almost bought one of these units 20 years ago… My realtor at the time advised against it-smart fellow.

  6. Sunny Gravy says:

    The unit owners don’t get paid until the new condo sales close whenever that happens.

  7. Tom O'Donnell says:

    What does “after receiving bank financing when the presales are accomplished” mean?

    Does he need to sell the 69 condos before he pays the 122 unit owners ?

    A unit holder,
    O’D

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