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Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

Tidemark back in court

The Tidemark hotel/condo/marina project in Holmes Beach may have to wait another six weeks before getting the "all clear" to proceed with construction.

Federal bankruptcy Judge Alexander Paskay has agreed to a motion for a rehearing filed by former Tidemark partner Southstar LLC of Coral Gables. The rehearing is scheduled for March 22.

In January, Paskay ordered Southstar to hand over a lease the company has with Wachovia Bank in Holmes Beach for 20 parking spaces tied to the Tidemark site plan. Southstar had acquired the lease when it was partnered with Tidemark last year ( The Islander, Feb. 2).

But that deal went sour and Tidemark managing partner Nick Easterling joined forces with the Reliance Property Group from Connecticut to refinance the project and bring Tidemark out of bankruptcy. Paskay approved the refinancing agreement with RPG and ordered Southstar to hand over the lease to the reorganized company.

Southstar appealed, claiming it was owed more compensation for the lease, but Paskay rejected that appeal on Jan. 28. Southstar immediately filed a motion for a rehearing, claiming it had new evidence to support its claim. Paskay agreed and set the new court date.

The 40-unit Tidemark hotel/condominium/marina project was approved by the Holmes Beach City Commission in August 2001, but ran into financial difficulties. The company went into bankruptcy in January 2004, but has been refinanced by RPG and Easterling expected to be discharged from bankruptcy in the very near future.