Alabama marina set for foreclosure sale

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A portion of a southern Alabama marina and resort is being sold by Regions Bank, which is advertising a foreclosure sale for Sept. 13.

Birmingham-based Regions Bank is advertising the sale of 80 percent of Orange-Beach-based The Wharf's acreage.

The notices indicate that the marina, which includes 190 slips and a commercial building that encompasses a dock store and a restaurant, and 167 acres that include a concert venue, but few other structures, will be sold in two separate sales, according to The Press-Register (Ala.) newspaper.

It's unclear how much developer AIG Baker Shopping Center Properties owes Regions Bank. Regions spokeswoman Evelyn Mitchell told the newspaper that the bank's policy is not to comment on individual loans.

Baldwin County probate filings show that the developers in 2005 borrowed $31.45 million to finance a land purchase and $17.6 million for the marina.

The Wharf opened in May 2006 with a sold-out Hank Williams Jr. concert. Sprawling over 222 acres between Canal Road and the Intracoastal Waterway, the development features restaurants, shops, a high-rise condominium building, a movie theater and a conference center, in addition to the amphitheater - the second-largest such venue in Alabama - and the marina.

The original designs called for about 1,000 condos and more than a million square feet of retail space. However, The Wharf progressed little beyond its first phase as the developers grappled with balking condo buyers, a multimillion-dollar legal battle with the project's general contractor and retail tenants that folded and fought to get out of their leases.

Though Regions holds liens on about 178 of The Wharf's 222 acres, it does not have title to the condominium tower, Main Street retail area or conference center, Mitchell told the newspaper.

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