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Hurricane Halts Gulf-Front Resort

Orange Beach, AL: (Apr-03-08) Checkers restaurant co-founder, and Mobile, AL native Jim Mattei, brought a lawsuit against John Case and Rick Phillips, along with OB Development, developers of the defunct Mandalay Beach Resort in Orange Beach, alleging that they defaulted on a $45 million loan used to buy Gulf-front property. The suit claimed that in late 2004's, post-Hurricane Ivan, booming real estate market, OB Development, comprising of a group of veteran area businessmen, agreed to design a pair of 36-story towers that would include 500 luxury condo units.

Towards that end, the developers pledged Orange Beach a 175-foot-wide strip of property that would become the city's first municipal beach. The plans for the resort were canceled in 2006, owing to the fact that skyrocketing insurance and construction costs, along with stricter lending practices, had halted condominium sales on Baldwin County's beaches. The suit claimed that Mattei's Oxford Investments was the largest lender in the developers' $100 million financing package. The developers allegedly also took out loans with Colonial Bank, Compass Bank and BankTrust, according to Baldwin County Probate Court records.

As part of a settlement reached between them, John Case and Rick Phillips, along with OB Development were ordered to pay $13.2 million to Mattei's company, Oxford, resolving allegations. Additionally, two other developers Paul Kirkland and Robert Williams reached undisclosed settlements with Mattei. [EVERYTHING ALABAMA: SETTLEMENT REACHED IN ORANGE BEACH FORECLOSURE SUIT]

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Published on Apr-5-08


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