Beau Pré works to avert foreclosure; club’s future remains unclearPublished 12:07am Saturday, September 8, 2012
NATCHEZ — The extended deadline for Beau Pré Country Club to generate enough funds to purchase its $1.15 million matured mortgage has passed, but the club is still operating and working to raise money.
“We are still in negotiations to avert foreclosure, the banks have been very patient with us, and we hope to have some resolution to this in the very near future,” said Chuck Fields, president of Beau Pré Country Club’s board of directors.
The club remains open for business while negotiations are ongoing. The payment deadline was Tuesday.
“We are still operating as normally as you can operate with all of this flying around,” Fields said.
The club’s mortgage matured in April, and in July, the Beau Pré board sent out a letter to club members, homeowners in the Beau Pré subdivision and other interested parties asking them to buy equity shares in the in the club at $10,000 a share. Each share would be worth approximately 0.5291 percent of the properties.
The balance of Beau Pré’s loan when it matured was $1,566,087, but a new appraisal of the property — required to refinance the loan — came in far lower, $1,150,000. The banks agreed to allow the club to purchase its debt at the property’s newly appraised value.
Fields said shares are still available, though he declined to discuss how much the club has been able to raise. In July, the owner-investor drive had generated approximately $560,000.
The goal was to have the club no longer be subject to a mortgage, and even to get the club’s loan renewed for another term it would have had to pay down the difference between what was owed and the property’s appraised value.
While foreclosure proceedings have not begun, Natchez Mayor Butch Brown has recently expressed interest in — though not a commitment to — having the city buy the property at a foreclosure sale and using it as the golf course in a countywide recreation program, and using part of Duncan Park’s golf course as part of a to-be-built recreation complex while retaining nine holes for a nine-hole golf course.
Anyone who is interested in buying an ownership share in Beau Pré should contact any board member, Fields said.