Wardman seeks to reassure members over possible Coral Beach Club receivership
George Wardman has broken his silence over fears for the future of the Coral Beach Club, said to be facing imminent receivership.
In a letter to CBC’s some 1,100 members, he sought to reassure that the private beach and tennis club would continue to operate if it is put into receivership.
“We think we should warn you that the Club is rumoured to soon be mentioned in a ‘receivership action’,” Mr Wardman said in his letter Monday.
“I want to assure you that the property, the buildings, the courts, the beach and all the rights to them are still intact and not affected by this. This is intended to be the orderly handover from the earlier tenant (Brickman) to their lender (Swedbank).”
New York-based Brickman has said it wants out of its lease, saying it’s no longer interested in developing the property as a five-star resort. CBC members rejected Brickman’s plan to sell them the resort’s facilities for $28 million, leading to concerns the club could close, be sold to another party, or handed back to mortgagee Swedbank.
Officials from the Swedish bank flew to Bermuda last month to meet with Brickman and CBC staff.
A group of concerned members and at least one New York-based firm are among potential buyers for the club.
In his letter on Monday, Mr Wardman further said: “It has been indeed a long while since we felt we should bother you about plans for the combined Horizons & Coral Beach Properties. There has been much confusion and uncertainty, you have been remarkably patient and I am afraid that the journey is not over yet.
“As the Chairman of an inactive Board of Governors but still charged with running the membership issues for the Club, we want to help explain.
“We think we should warn you that the Club is rumoured to soon be mentioned in a ‘receivership action’. I want to assure you that the property, the buildings, the courts, the beach and all the rights to them are still intact and not affected by this. This is intended to be the orderly handover from the earlier tenant (Brickman) to their lender (Swedbank).
“Members of the Club have, all along, been protected by several provisions in the lease and the negotiating documents. These covenants still apply, to use $500 words.
“You will already know that there are a number of suitors who want to find a way to preserve the Club and its availability for your recreation. You can be the first to know that the Landlords, in particular the Wardmans, are just as eager to find a sensible and realistic solution. Our favourite hope is that the Club will become part of a caring family who will nurture it into the future without thought of undue reward and with congenial enjoyment as its principal goal.
“This project has faced many challenges but you may be sure that the no one has given up. At the end of the day we are certain there will be a Coral Beach Club to withstand the test of another 65 years. Indeed, your Board of Governors will meet soon to consider recent new applications, a positive portent.”
The current lease payments are for annual rental payments of $1 million for the Horizon lease and $1 million for the CBC lease for the next 45 years of the lease, and thereafter drop to $125,000 for each property for the next 150 years of the original 200-year leases which commenced in 2008.