Agreement on a deal to sell Woodcrest Country Club to developer

Posted: March 23, 2013

A bankruptcy trustee has entered into an agreement with a Marlton real estate group to buy the Woodcrest Country Club for $6.25 million, according to a motion filed Friday.

The agreement reached by trustee Bonnie Glantz Fatell and Cherry Hill Land Associates L.L.C., a subsidiary of First Montgomery Group AMO, will be subject to better bids for the Cherry Hill golf club, according to Fatell's motion, which proposes terms for an auction to be held May 20.

A hearing on the motion is scheduled for April 1 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Camden.

First Montgomery has real estate holdings in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey, including 4,000 apartment units, according to its website. The firm's principals could not be reached Friday evening.

The club filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year and did not open this season.

The club's main creditor, Sun National Bank of Vineland, N.J., is owed $11.8 million. A credit bid by Sun would be due May 19 under the procedures proposed by Fatell.

Woodcrest's president, Irv Richter, said he did not understand Fatell's proposal.

"Doesn't it depend on what the bank does?" Richter asked. "If they want the property, they'll get the property. I don't think anyone else is going to bid, unless they get caught up in the emotional aspect."

Crestwood Property Group L.L.C. previously offered $5.1 million for the 155-acre property. Its principals are members of the Brown family that controls Sun. Sidney R. Brown, the bank's vice chairman, was a member of Woodcrest's board.

Investor and developer Bruce Toll also has expressed interest in bidding on the club, possibly to develop it as a medical campus.

"Our hope is to see that property preserved as open space," Cherry Hill spokeswoman Bridget Palmer said, adding that the township cannot prevent applicants from seeking zoning variances.

The township, noting the club owes more than $106,000 in back taxes with an additional $53,000 due May 1, has filed a motion seeking permission to conduct a tax sale in June. Under such a sale, a note for the back taxes would be auctioned off. An investor who buys the note could foreclose on the property if the lien is not paid off in two years. Fatell has said she will oppose the motion.

Contact Maddie Hanna at 856- 779-3232 or

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