Seven months after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to avoid foreclosure, the owners of the Woodhaven Country Club in east Fort Worth have worked out a plan that they say keeps the golf course on track and primed for expansion.
On Friday, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Russell Nelms confirmed the plan that has the owners, WCC Partners, L.P., agreeing to pay a $2.5 million note over the next two years to the former owner, Scoma Family L.P., fulfilling a $1 million capital improvement program on the facilities, and paying all owed local, state and federal taxes.
“This gives us the ability to start moving forward,” John Bailey, the club’s general manager, said of the reorganization plan. “We did have a black cloud over our head. This puts us in a positive direction. We are eager to move forward.”
WCC Partners filed for bankruptcy reorganization in Fort Worth in April, a year after buying the property from Louis Scoma, a Fort Worth businessman. Scoma financed the purchase and attempted for foreclose after WCC Partners missed several payments.
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Scoma, who became the largest creditor in the case, bought the 148-acre course in 2010 from the Carlyle Group, a Washington, D.C.-based private-equity firm.
Under terms of the reorganization plan, WCC Partners has set up five-year payment plans to pay off $100,870 in unpaid property taxes to Tarrant County, $190,849 to the Internal Revenue Service and $2,386 to the Texas Workforce Commission in back unemployment tax.
Also, WCC Partners will make a $150,000 balloon payment by Dec. 1 to Scoma and has deposited $12,000 into the family’s membership account at the club. Moreover, all members of the Scoma family will have lifetime memberships to the club, court records show.
Scoma, who has been a Woodhaven member for more than 40 years, said he agreed to the bankruptcy plan after WCC Partners committed to completing renovations to the club that began when he owned the property. That work, which was part of the original sale agreement, now must be completed by December 2016, he said.
“I’m doing what I think is the best thing for the country club,” Scoma said. “That’s the key to it. I believe the group can bring the club up to being an outstanding country club.”
Since April, the club has installed a fitness club, renovated restrooms and put in target greens and putting and chipping greens, Bailey said.
Marketing efforts are being taken to boost membership, which dropped off during the bankruptcy, Bailey said. The club has instituted a new corporate membership and expanded offerings in its social membership, for example.