Last week Wednesday, creditors of Basil Street Partners – which developed the Naples Bay Resort - filed an involuntary petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in federal court in Fort Myers. On Thursday, the parties held a three-hour emergency hearing on the bankruptcy petition trying to find a compromise. At this time, there has not yet been a ruling on whether the bankruptcy will proceed.
One of the creditors of the project is developer Jack Antaramian, a partner in Basil Street Partners. Antaramian's attorney, Daniel DeMarco, argued the bankruptcy filing was necessary for new financing to keep the resort open and told the court that Texas-based investor, EFO Financial Group, was willing to loan nearly $3.8 million to help fund operations and other expenses. He said conditions of the officer included having bankruptcy protections in place. DeMarco said, "We have to start some place and we have to move expeditiously."
By providing financing in bankruptcy, EFO would be first in line – ahead of other creditors - to get paid back. In addition, the financing would be arranged by a trustee working for the bankruptcy court, rather than by the court-appointed receiver, who is currently searching for new operating financing.
Ultimately U.S. District Court Judge Jeffery Hopkins agreed to have a trustee appointed through the bankruptcy court, but with limited powers. The receiver, Gerard McHale, a forensic accountant based in Fort Myers, will continue to operate the resort.