The Coastal Star

Delray Beach: Yacht Club plans for restaurant not slowed by foreclosure

By Rod Proctor

A recent foreclosure action against owners of The Yacht Club at Delray Beach has not slowed plans to expand amenities and services at the Delray Beach landmark, according to the club’s membership director.
Efforts continue to open a restaurant and tiki bar at the club’s aquatic center, and remodeling remains on tap for the marina’s main building, said membership director Chris Cantwell.
“We’ve got eight of the nine permits we need and we’re working with the city to get final approval,” he said. Once the city signs off, he said, the bar and restaurant could be ready for business in 60 days. Work on the main building would involve a new roof and the remodeling of the upstairs banquet area into a new lounge called the Captain’s Room. The club has suspended the marketing of full marina memberships, he said, but Aquatic Center memberships remain available.
Cantwell touted the recent popularity of new programs offered at the aquatic center, including swim clinics, water aerobics, life-saving classes, all open to members and non-members alike.
“The more we offer,” he said, “the more people come. And the more people come, the more we’ll offer.” Club owners Capex Properties of Palm Beach Gardens and Kentucky-based David Hocker and Associates were sued early in June by Naples-based Orion Bank over an $18.8 million mortgage taken in early 2006. Plans had been made for the addition of townhouses to the 3-acre Intracoastal Waterway site, with presales marketing being handled by Premier Estate Properties.
But according to Warren Heeg, estate specialist with Premier, those efforts ended more than a year ago and the firm no longer has a relationship with the club. Cantwell characterized the foreclosure as part of a continuing process to “work out terms beneficial to both parties,” and said the final permitting issue with the city is not associated with the foreclosure.
While unable to mention specifics, he described a late June meeting between the owners and the bank as “favorable.” The marina’s 44 boat slips remain heavily used, Cantwell said, with occupancy rates hovering at about 65 percent.
Once remodeling is complete and regular membership sales resume, he said, the club hopes to see long-term occupancy rates of about 85 percent. The marina welcomes non-members, he said, with slip rentals available on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

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