• psst … I’m a Realtor! Thanks for stopping by my website. I would love to help you find your dream home and community in the Hampton Roads or Williamsburg area or to sell your existing home. This website is authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf. John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of Hampton Roads and the historic triangle, and his expertise in the local real estate market. His websites, WilliamsburgsRealEstate.com and Mr Williamsburg.com were created as a resource for folks who are exploring a move to Williamsburg, VA , Hampton Roads VA and the surrounding areas of the Virginia Peninsula. On his website you can search homes for sale , foreclosures, 55+ active adult communities, condos and town homes , land and commercial property for sale in Williamsburg, Yorktown, New Kent, Poquoson, and Gloucester, VA as well as surrounding markets of Carrolton, Chesapeake,Gloucester, Hampton, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth Mathews, Newport News Norfolk, Poquoson, Smithfield, , Suffolk, Surry, Va Beach, Yorktown and York County Virginia You can reach John by email John@MrWilliamsburg.com or phone @ 757-254-813

Update: Ford Colony Country Club Bankruptcy Nov 2010

From the Ford’s Colony Country Club Creditors’ Committee :

On November 17, 2010, the United States Bankruptcy Court conducted a hearing on:

  1. Prudential Industrial Properties, LLC   (Prudential’s) Motion for Relief from Stay. This Motion sought permission of the Court to allow Prudential to foreclose on the golf course;
  2. The Debtors’ Motion to extend the period of time during which only the Debtor could file a plan of reorganization; and
  3. The Debtors’ Motion to create various classes of creditors for purposes of proposing a plan for reorganization.

clubhouseAs  noted previously, the Debtor, Prudential and the Creditors’ Committee have spent a considerable amount of time since mediation on October 28 attempting to reach an agreement for a consensual plan of reorganization. Unfortunately, the parties were not able to reach an agreement.

Prior to the November 17 hearing, to facilitate agreement, the Committee had offered to waive its primary request of the Debtor concerning governance. This request was a seat on the Debtor’s board of directors appointed by the Country Club Membership Association  (CCMA) to provide the members.an oversight role. This offer was conditioned on the Debtor reaching a business deal with Prudential that would allow the case to move forward and a firm agreement on adequate financial transparency in the future.

On November 16, The Committee was informed by the Debtor’s counsel that the Debtor and Prudential could not reach an agreement. Furthermore, the Debtor and the Committee have yet to agree on what is required to provide meaningful financial transparency. The Committee will continue to seek an agreement with the Debtor on this issue going forward.

In addition, the Committee, which had opposed Prudential’s request to foreclose, reached an agreement with Prudential under which Prudential would not immediately foreclose on the golf course in the unlikely event that it prevailed on the Motion for Relief from Stay. This understanding essentially provided the Committee up to 4 months to work out either an agreement with the parties or propose to the Court an acceptable plan of reorganization in order to avoid having the golf course put up for sale. To obtain Prudential’s agreement to hold off on any foreclosure, the Committee agreed to waive its objection to Relief from Stay and take a neutral position, leaving the matter to be addressed between the Debtor and Prudential in Court on November 17.

Because the Debtor was shouldering the defense to the Motion in any event, the Committee’s agreement with Prudential insured that both members and creditors were not harmed regardless of how the Court ruled. In short, it kept the hearings from becoming an "all or nothing" prospect for the creditors and the Club.

At the end of the hearing on November 17, the Court ruled against Prudential on the Motion for Relief from Stay. However, the Court noted that the members, residents and the creditors needed some assurance that this process would move toward prompt resolution. To that end, the Court also denied the Debtor’s request for an extension of the exclusive period during which only it could file a plan of reorganization. The Court decided not to rule on the classification request until a plan is produced.

The Court reemphasized the importance of resolving this case and particularly recognized the membership as critical to financial viability.

In summary, Ford’s Colony Country Club remains in operation and the Debtor can continue it efforts to produce an effective reorganization plan. The Creditors Committee can work with the Debtor and Prudential collectively or separately to produce a Plan for the Court’s consideration. The next Court date is December 13 to hear arguments on the value of Prudential’s claim against the Debtor’s assets. On January 13 the Court will hear arguments on the consolidation of the entities (Ford’s Colony Country Club and Marsh Hawk Golf Club). A status report on the development of a comprehensive Plan of Reorganization and any alternative Plans is scheduled for January 18.

The Committee’s overall objective remains that the Club be financially viable, well run and continue to be an important asset for members and residents. In this  way, the unsecured creditors would also have the possibility for some return. The Creditors Committee continues to believe adequate financial transparency is a vital component of an acceptable Plan.

Read more about the Ford’s Colony Community here

Read more about the case here


Fords Colony Country Club Williamsburg Files For Bankruptcy

Update October 28, 2010

On Thursday, October 28, 2010, the Creditors Committee, Prudential and Ford’s Colony Country Club (FCCC)  participated in judicial mediation. The purpose of the mediation was to resolve the various matters in dispute among the parties. As most of you know, the Creditors Committee’s has focused on the:

1. Possibility of some return to unsecured creditors, most of whom are members or former members.

2. Objective that the Country Club which emerges from this process is well run and financially sound.

After many hours Thursday, it appears than an agreement has been reached capable Ford's colony country clubof achieving both results.

Counsels for each party are scheduled to provide a status report to the court on November 4. The objective is to move as quickly as possible to work out the details of the framework resulting from the mediation. Once the final terms of the agreement have been reached, they will be circulated to you as well. In the interim, we wanted the membership to know that FCCC bankruptcy once again appears to be moving forward.

UPDATE September 2010
Ford’s Colony Country Club is entering into judicial mediation following a bankruptcy court hearing last week. The club, major creditor Prudential, and a committee formed to represent lesser creditors have all filed a number of pleadings about when or if the club can emerge from bankruptcy. At a hearing in Norfolk VA Bankruptcy Court, a judge suggested mediation to reach a compromise, and all sides agreed.

Agreement is expected in early November. The requirement for a reorganization plan has also been been extended. The creditors committee has filed a motion asking permission to retain a golf consultant to review the club’s finances.


Fords-Colony-Hole-17_editedDevelopers of golf communities that are well established and with all amenities in place have fared pretty well amidst the carnage of the last few years.  Despite a 20-year track record, three golf courses and plenty of built homes, the Ford’s Colony Country Club in Williamsburg, VA, is in enough trouble to seek court protection. 

The announcement that the club had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is seeking to reorganize is a stark reminder to anyone in the market for a golf club membership — ask to see the club’s financial statements, especially the amount held in reserve

Update August 2010

Ford’s Colony Country Club is seeking a two month extension on the reorganization plan, but Prudential , the main creditor is objecting.
The bulk of the debt is owed to the lender Prudential on an $18 million note issued in 2007. Another $8 million is owed to insiders or affiliates, $400,000 in unsecured debt and $335,000 in equipment leases. About $400,000 was obligated immediately to members through refund agreements, with a potential obligation of up to $4 million. The club. The club has to sort creditors into a number of classes and then develop plans for each class, seeking approval from the creditors themselves for the plans. 
Fords-Colony-Hole-17A Bankruptcy Court judge will make the final decision on how to handle the various classes of debts. The club continues to work with Prudential, although the bank did not want to delay the plans further and recently filed a motion to let them collect, according to a blast e-mail to members. “Prudential informed us at the outset… that they would pursue this,” wrote general manager Steve Dreybus. A portion of what is owed Prudential is unsecured debt, putting that last in line to get paid along with the member refunds. Dreybus said that talks are ongoing with both Prudential and a creditor committee that was formed to represent unsecured creditors. The debt classifications are scheduled to be reviewed in court next month and the club has until Sept. 30 to file its final reorganization plan.

April 2010
Ford’s Colony Country Club filed for bankruptcy protection Thursday, with debts of at least $10 million.
A confluence of negative factors drove the club into Chapter 11 (see box).
The filing will restructure the club’s debt by spreading it out and allowing the club to shed much of it. A top executive said the club will continue to operate and the bankruptcy will not affect homeowners in the gated community.
The company lists assets worth somewhere between $10 million and $50 million. It lists its debt within the same range, according to paperwork filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The bulk of the debt is owed to Prudential on a $18 million note issued in 2007 When the club first filed for Chapter 11 protection, Richard Ford explained that new memberships were down, tied to the crash in the real estate market. Discretionary spending among existing members also declined, as had tournaments and special events.

He said memberships will continue to be honored, planned events and tee times will continue, and the 100 or so employees will keep clocking in.
Within 30 days, management will have to submit a long-term financial plan to the court. “We regard this opportunity as a new beginning for the club, its members and employees,” Ford said.
The filing notes that the club’s cash flow or profit has been down in the past year because of the crash in the real estate market and subsequent membership sales.
In late 2008 and early 2009, the club fell behind to Prudential by several payments but negotiated through the end of the year. In December, the company fell behind again. This time Prudential was unwilling to defer payments and moved to have a receiver appointed.
Ultimately the company hopes to “emerge from bankruptcy with a healthier golf club operation,” according to the filing.
Homeowner association president Jim Taverna said Friday that the news wasn’t totally unanticipated. The board knew the club was struggling and had been trying to increase exposure through non-member resident tournaments and the like.
“The HOA is trying to take a pro-active stance in working with the club in helping improve their financial performance, [but] there has been no HOA money put into the club,” he emphasized.
Resident concern isn’t directly centered on financial entanglement, Taverna said. “We’re concerned about the perception in the greater community and the impact on the values of the houses in Ford’s Colony,” he said. “Our concern would be how this would be presented by a real estate agent to a prospective buyer.”

Taverna said that there is little concern that the club will ultimately prove so unsuccessful that the courses will be converted to housing. HOA members have researched the issue and found that zoning and other land use designations are close to airtight.
While more golf courses are closing than opening, Realtec’s Drew Mulhare said that many courses, like Ford’s Colony’s, are integrated into residential communities, reliant on real estate sales and development. In this case, the developer arm, Realtec, subsidizes the country club when business is down in the winter. Real estate sales also fuel the club’s growth.
Asked if golf is losing its primacy long-term or whether the area is overbuilt in courses, Mulhare said, “It’s way too early to answer those questions, because the golf business is not an isolated situation that can be analyzed like that.”

Residents in Ford’s Colony, which was one of the earliest golf communities in the historic Williamsburg area, are not directly affected by the golf club’s problems.  However, if the club does not successfully re-organize or gains a reputation for poor playing conditions, residents are likely to feel the effects in their home values.

Read more about Ford’s Colony Williamsburg here


From Letter sent to Ford’s Colony Home Owners:

“The economy, real estate and golf business continue to suffer. The general economy affected our members’ spending priorities, as well as tournament and special event business and the club’s ability to finance monthly cash flows. Our real estate business is a prime driver of economic activity at the club in terms of new membership initiation fees and dues. Considerable revenues are derived from visiting marketing guests enjoying the golf and restaurant to get a sense of the community. [Noting the delay or collapse of the retirement community and Westport developments] Realtec had to withdraw its 23-year financial support of the club in 2008 due to the lack of those land sales. As you know, Realtec also forfeited ownership of certain real estate parcels due to its inability to refinance real estate assets in this economy. The wet and colder weather of 2009 and 2010 severely impacted golf revenues. Golf revenues are mostly straight to the bottom line.” —

Richard Ford


5395This post was authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf.  John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of Hampton Roads and the historic triangle, and his expertise in the local real estate market.  His websites, www.WilliamsburgsRealEstate.com  and   www.MrWilliamsburg.com, were created as a comprehensive resource about living in Williamsburg and Hampton Roads, with the hopes of selling a house now and again.  You can reach him at 757.254.8136 or John@MrWilliamsburg.com.