Without the funds from local homeowners and members, the Natchez, Miss., club faces foreclosure. Equity shares are being sold for $10,000 a share, equaling 0.5291 percent of the property.
In a bid to save Beau Pré Country Club in Natchez, Miss., from foreclosure, the club’s Board of Directors is seeking investors to buy its $1.15 million mortgage, the Natchez (Miss.) Democrat reported.
Board President Chuck Fields sent a letter to Beau Pré homeowners, club members and others proposing that they buy equity shares in the club for $10,000 a share, with one share equaling 0.5291 percent of the property, the Democrat reported.
“Investors would own an equity interest in the property and assets itself, which would no longer be subject to a bank mortgage,” Fields wrote. “And small though that ownership interest might be, if the club turns around—and there are good things happening on the economic front in the area—and if we can hang on, in a few years that will translate into additional membership and better financial circumstances for the club.”
The effort to raise funds began in June, following the April maturation of a loan on the club. The loan’s balance was $1,566,087 and the property’s appraised value was $1,150,000. The club would have to pay down the difference to renew the loan, but the banks agreed to use the appraised value of the property as the purchase price for the mortgage because of the Board’s fundraising efforts, the Democrat reported.
Fields said more than $560,000 has been raised, and the Board is now redoubling efforts to meet with members and homeowners to raise the remaining amount needed.
“After we had made our first effort through the members and homeowners, we are going outside the membership and homeowners to anybody who might help,” Fields said.
If the appropriate funds are not raised by September 4, the foreclosure process will begin. If the club goes into foreclosure, Fields said, the city of Natchez has expressed interest in buying Beau Pré as part of a wider recreation plan. Mayor Butch Brown acknowledged this interest, but said no in-depth discussions have occurred, the Democrat reported.
“We are not anxious to do anything in any way to complicate or hasten any kind of financial discussions and decisions between the banks, the club and the club membership,” Brown said. “We hope that the club can keep [the property] and keep it open, because it’s an attraction to the city, and it is said to be one of the best golf courses in the state of Mississippi.
“We want to see all of our entities, be they private, public or recreational, stay open,” Brown added.