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HomeNewsLocal newsCivil Trial Begins in Dispute Over Proposed Coral Bay Marina

Civil Trial Begins in Dispute Over Proposed Coral Bay Marina

Part of the proposed marina site in Coral Bay. (Source photo by Judi Shimel)

More than a decade since a team of developers set out to create a marina in Coral Bay, partners in the plan for Summer’s End Marina are in court. Jury selection began Monday in District Court on St. Thomas.

Parties in the dispute say a contract between Summer’s End Group and property owners James Phillips and Genoveva Rodriguez involves shifting timelines and terms of agreement. The original deal was reached on Dec. 2, 2013.

The purchase price was set at $4.5 million, with a $135,000 deposit made to Phillips and his wife. Two amended contracts in July 2014 and June 2016 changed the closing date; one ballparked between August and September 2014.

No closing dates were specified in the second amended contract. Instead, it set conditions that closing on the contract would take place “within one week” after Summer’s End received permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Planning and Natural Resources’ Coastal Zone Management division.

Court documents say as of 2019, the permits have yet to arrive.

According to a complaint filed by attorney David Cattie on July 31, 2019, the second amended agreement went on to say the terms of the December 2013 contract remained in effect.

That’s when partners turned into opponents. The defendants in the case handed over power of attorney to an adult son and accused developers of filing a false affidavit with CZM. Plaintiffs called that assertion inaccurate.

Phillips and Rodriguez said that the contract of sale would expire on July 26, 2017 unless developers agreed to amended terms, make a non-refundable payment of $450,000, and close the deal within 90 days.

The defendants added they had no intention of turning over Parcel No. 13 Remainder, Coral Bay Quarter, for development by Summer’s End.

Through their attorney, developers called the proposal outrageous and evil, displaying reckless indifference to the rights of Summer’s End.

Cattie is asking the court to award his clients compensation plus interest for lost profits, attorney’s fees and a declaratory judgment.

District Judge Robert Molloy is presiding over this week’s civil trial.

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