Coral Gables Country Club operator leaves but wants to stay

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Written by Abraham Galvan on September 28, 2021

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Coral Gables Country Club operator leaves but wants to stay

The Town of Coral Gables has decided to sever ties with the current operator of Coral Gables Country Club after serving only 10 years of its 30-year lease.

In March, tenant Coral Grand was told the town would not renew its ten-year lease to operate the country club at 997 N Greenway Drive due to non-payment of base rent and percentage rent, according to the door. – spoken by Coral Gables, Martha Pantin.

The city informed the operators of Coral Grand, which has operated the Coral Gables Country Club since August 2009, that it did not pay the rent on time for April 2020 and did not pay the October 2017 percentage rent. as of September 30, 2018, and from October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019, which violates the initial lease, according to a non-renewal letter sent by the city to the country club operators.

In January, the city commission approved a deferred payment plan whereby Coral Grand would pay rent in full for August and September 2020 and pay 50% for October, November and December, for a total of $ 95,650.31. The operators admitted to being in default for non-payment of rent due on August 1, 2020, as they were significantly affected by the pandemic, which was another breach of the rental agreement.

According to the deferred rent agreement, payments must be made on time, and if the tenant does not pay on time, the City has the right to exercise any remedy available under the lease or the law or equity, including immediate recourse and voluntarily vacating the premises.

City records also show how city staff have made numerous inquiries to operators regarding the status of insurance claims, which were either not responded to or responded to in a timely manner, the said. letter. At this point, Coral Grand was no longer eligible for renewal.

City staff also found unauthorized work, property damage not reported to insurance, complaints from residents, non-return of deposits to nonprofits and schools for events planned during Covid- 19, and other for-profit businesses registered on the property without permission from the city. The lease specifically includes a percentage rent provision based on gross income, added Ms. Pantin.

After numerous conversations with Coral Grand, including submitting a proposal in March, the tenant hired legal counsel. In June, the city and the tenant’s lawyers reached an out-of-court settlement to amicably conclude an extended operating period until April 2022.

“We couldn’t close on September 30 because we would leave thousands of people who have booked events with us abandoned and potentially lose all of their deposits,” said Anthony Di Donato of Coral Grand. “So we agreed with city staff that they would allow us to stay until April 2022 and agree to terminate the lease and not sue them for early termination.

“We felt it was the right thing to do, not from a legal standpoint but from a moral standpoint and ensuring that we, as an organization, meet our obligations to our community. “, did he declare.

According to Di Donato, city staff said they got a bad deal because they wanted a $ 4 million infrastructure contribution, which Coral Grand did not plan to do.

On April 19, the city’s purchasing division called for proposals for the rental and operation of the country club through which any interested proponent would make an initial improvement investment of at least $ 4.5 million. , would accept a base rent of $ 360,000 per year, increasing to 3% for each rental year thereafter, and propose a percentage rent contribution based on gross income.

The city would consider an initial 15-year lease, with two additional five-year renewal options. The proposals were initially accepted until May 24 and were extended three times, until June 28.

The city received a response. This proponent, Barreto Hospitality, was found to be non-compliant and the RFP was canceled. Coral Grand did not participate as she cannot be selected as she was unsuccessful under a previous contract with the city.

It is important to note that a final decision regarding the Coral Cables Country Club has not been made and that the city manager is considering all options, added Ms Pantin.

“I hope the city will now review this and say, ‘well, we haven’t had a better deal. We haven’t had a better promoter that the community really loves. Let’s renew their lease. This is what I hope because it is the right thing to do, ”said Mr. Di Donato. “We gave him [City Manager Peter J. Iglesias] the ability to go out and find a better operator who will pay more, and he couldn’t do it. I think he should be courteous to us to at least talk to him and ask him, “how do we fix this and stay, because that’s what the community wants.”


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