The Ford’s Colony Country Club and it’s recovery

All parties involved in the Ford’s Colony Country Club Bankruptcy proceedings will report back to the Norfolk Bankruptcy Court on November 4, 2010 after a little over a 30 day mediation period. The parties last met at the end of September and the Judge hearing the case requested that parties consider mediation to avoid the process becoming further bogged down in legal processes. Club manager Steve Dreybus stated “we believe that our financial and operational plan is sound, viable, and in the best long-term interest of our membership and the property owners living in Ford’s Colony. It is important that our members stay involved and work through the Creditor’s Committee to ensure that your voices are heard and your interests are protected.” The ultimate goal, of course, is to secure a formal plan of reorganization. Once that has been determined then creditors can vote upon the plan. This has surely been a painful process for the Country Club and it’s members. The good news is that the Club and it’s creditors are working through the mediation process and will hopefully come to a resolution as to the best way to pull the Club out of the quagmire. As far as the neighborhood is concerned, it is surely important to distinguish the Ford’s Colony Home Owner’s Association from the Country Club. Unlike our neighbors in Governor’s Land, there is no mandatory social country club membership. The two groups (FCHOA and FC Country Club) certainly have some duplicate members, but the majority of homeowners in FC do not belong to the Country Club. For prospective residents the distinction is an important one.
The most important point to make is that of the “Big 3” gated and golf course communities in Williamsburg not one has been without an ‘issue’ of some sort over the last 12 months. Kingsmill has dealt with the uncertainties of the In-Bev acquisition of Anheuser-Busch and what will surely be the subsequent sale of the neighborhood. Governor’s Land has faced issues with their mandatory social country club membership and the dues associated with the membership. What to expect? A failure on the part of the Country Club benefits no one. Let’s hope that a prior statement made by Mr. Dreybus will hold true: “As mentioned in past updates, the Club and Prudential were close to an agreement at the outset of this process.” If they were close to an agreement at the outset, then surely an agreement can be reached during this mediation process that will allow for the Club to recover- in the best interests of the Club’s members and its creditors as well as the neighborhood as a whole.

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