Date: March 28, 2012
by: Robin Hartill | City Editor The Observer
The Colony Beach & Tennis Association Board eliminated the proposal submitted by Manfred Welfonder’s Longboat Key-based MW Development Group in August, but Welfonder believes he has the right vision for the Colony’s future.
Now Welfonder and Sarasota developer Jay Tallman, president of Ascentia Group LLC, have partnered in hopes of bringing that vision for the Colony to fruition. Tallman got his start in Longboat Key real-estate development in the early 1990s with the Vizcaya luxury condominiums and later joined forces with Thomas Brown to develop the 21-unit en Provence, which sold out in three weeks for a total $52 million, according to the Gulf Coast Business Review, an Observer newspaper. Tallman and Brown went on to develop the Beau Ciel in downtown Sarasota, Orchid Beach Club on Lido Beach and The Founders Club in Sarasota. Tallman served as a consultant for the Longboat Key Club and Resort’s $400 million Islandside redevelopment-and-expansion program. Tallman told the Longboat Observer that he is now setting his sights on the Colony because of its significance to the Key and region.
“I would just love to have a hand in the ultimate recreation of the property,” Tallman said. “I think it’s had a wonderful, storied history, and I’d like to see it carry on the legacy that’s been involved with Longboat Key and at the same time redevelop it and be proud of it.”
The board has made clear its intent to proceed with Club Holdings LLC as its development partner. At least 75% of unit owners would have to approve of any plan to move forward. The vote was originally scheduled to take place at the annual unit owners meeting, scheduled for Monday, April 2, and Tuesday, April 3, but has been pushed back.
Welfonder said that he wants the board to consider putting at least three proposals out for unit owner consideration.
“The board has picked one proponent,” Welfonder said. “We, in addition to other people, don’t believe they will get the 75% of votes.”