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Bank takes on green, but not the usual kind

Michael Schwartz November 6, 2013 0
The course at Prince George Golf Club. (Photos courtesy of Prince George Golf Club)

The course at Prince George Golf Club. (Photos courtesy of Prince George Golf Club)

Bankruptcy wasn’t enough to save a local golf course from the auction block.

Nine months after seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to keep its bank at bay, Prince George Golf Club on Tuesday went back to its lender at a foreclosure auction on the steps of the Prince George courthouse.

First Community Bank, which is owed almost $1 million from the course’s previous owner, Virginia Golf LLC, will now have the task of marketing the 113-acre property for sale.

Eddie McCall, an executive with First Community Bank, said all options are open for the property, including selling it as a golf course or for potential commercial development. The bank would not comment further on the matter.

Prince George has remained open for business during its bankruptcy case.

Prince George’s new owner is First Community Bank.

The course sits about 12 miles south of Petersburg and is valued at $950,000, according to Virginia Golf’s bankruptcy filing.

First Community’s previous attempts to foreclose were delayed when Ronnie Kelley, who owned the 50-year-old course through the LLC, put the property in bankruptcy in February. Kelley has said since then that he was working to find investors to prop up both the Prince George course and his River’s Bend Golf Club in Chester.

The River’s Bend property is in Chapter 11. It was threatened to be auctioned off by Chesterfield County at a delinquent tax sale in September.

First Community continued to fight for the right to foreclose, arguing that it should be allowed to take back its collateral despite the Chapter 11 protection. A judge agreed, and the bank was granted permission in September to exercise its rights on the property.

The law firm Kepley Broscious & Biggs handled the foreclosure auction for the lender.

With its main asset now in the bank’s hands, Virginia Golf’s bankruptcy case was converted to a Chapter 7 liquidation. The judge in the case found that there was “no prospect of reorganization,” court records show.

Kelley, a veteran of the local golf scene, bought the Prince George course in 1992 with his longtime partner, the late Chip Edwards, for $3.2 million.

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