$1B Colony Beach and Tennis Resort remains on track

The Longboat Key Town Commission has granted the latest requests from Unicorp National Developments.
by: Terry O’Connor News Editor

The Longboat Key Commission line of questioning made him sweat Monday night, but ultimately Orlando developer Chuck Whittall of Unicorp National Developments Inc. received everything he wanted to continue his $1 billion rejuvenation of abandoned properties at 6020 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key.

Whittall was eventually granted another one-year extension – the second this year – of his nonconforming density allowance on the former Colony Beach and Tennis Resort grounds. The extension now extends to 2018.

Whittall also promised to post a $1.1 million surety bond by Sept. 25. The bond could have been set equal to the $18.427 million assessed value of the former Colony Beach and Tennis Resort.

Commissioner Phill Younger complained the redevelopment in the past has never stayed on course and continually broke deadline promises. He pointed to the required vote of approval from former Colony Beach unit owners, which he said he expected to come off sooner than Nov. 10 where it is now scheduled.

“The vote keeps getting pushed back. That tells me there are problems,” Younger said. “I’ve got concerns about that.”

Whittall said he has already invested $27 million into the project, including millions on permitting, and spent legal fees of up to $50,000 a month clearing off extensive litigation swirling around the properties from disgruntled unit owners.

He pointed to the recent demolition of five service buildings on the grounds and a signed development agreement with the former Colony Beach and Tennis Resort Association as evidence the deal is coming together.

“I think we are making pretty darn good progress,” Whittall said.

“He’s gotten the job done,” said Commissioner Irwin Pastor.

Longboat Key voters can now expect a referendum proposal from Whittall for the Colony Beach and Tennis Resort redevelopment with 180 residential condos, up to 57 monthly tourism units and a requested 180 new units.

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