|By Duane Marsteller, The Bradenton
Herald, Fla.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Dec. 11, 2009--BRADENTON BEACH -- A small, vintage beach resort now is facing a modern-day menace: foreclosure.
A bank recently sued to foreclose on Bungalow Beach Resort, claiming its owners defaulted on a $2.8 million loan, court records show.
Fifth Third Bank's suit contends Luper Enterprises Inc. has not made monthly mortgage payments since March, and owes $2.88 million in principal, interest and late charges. The suit seeks to foreclose on the half-acre beachfront property and take possession of all furniture and fixtures within.
The suit, filed in Manatee County Circuit Court on Nov. 24, also names Albert and Alta "Gayle" Luper as defendants because they signed personal guarantees the money would be repaid.
A message left for the Lupers at the resort, 2000 Gulf Drive N., was not immediately returned Thursday. A man who answered the phone said the resort continues to operate.
Luper Enterprises has owned the resort since 1999, property records show. The resort consists of several restored 1930s-era bungalows with one to three bedrooms each, according to its Web site.
The resort also has been featured in numerous travel articles and books, and was once named "Inn of the Month" by Country Living magazine.
It's the second beachfront resort owned by the Lupers to face the threat of foreclosure, court records show.
Century Bank sued to foreclose on Siesta Key Bungalows in July, according to Sarasota County Circuit Court records. The resort's owner of record is Siesta Key Bungalows Inc., also operated by Gayle Luper.
Details on that suit were not immediately available Thursday. Richard John Cole II, a Sarasota attorney representing the defendants in that case, did not immediately return calls.
Duane Marsteller, transportation/growth and development reporter, can be reached at 745-7080, ext. 2630.
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