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Amsterdam at Harborside seeks new IDA bonds in debt restructuring

The Amsterdam at Harborside, at 300 East Overlook

The Amsterdam at Harborside, at 300 East Overlook in Port Washington, on June 25, 2014. Photo Credit: Newsday / Daniel Rader

The Amsterdam at Harborside hopes a federal bankruptcy judge will approve its debt restructuring next week to stabilize the upscale retirement community's finances, executives said.

The not-for-profit facility in Port Washington, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July, is working with Nassau County to issue $221 million in tax-exempt bonds through the county's Industrial Development Agency. The bonds will be exchanged for similar ones, valued at $296 million in 2007, also issued by the IDA.

Nassau officials said Wednesday night that neither the county nor the IDA would be held liable should the Amsterdam encounter more financial troubles in the future.

"There is no exposure now or on the replacement bonds," said Milan K. Tyler, an IDA attorney.

The debt restructuring in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Central Islip ensures, said IDA executive director Joseph J. Kearney, that "residents will be secure in their homes . . . and the jobs will be maintained."

The Amsterdam, which opened in 2010 on land overlooking Hempstead Harbor, has 329 units for independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing care. More than 300 retirees live there now.

Officials said the complex was forced to seek protection from its creditors in July because of the Great Recession. At that time, it listed both its liabilities and assets in the same range: between $101 million and $500 million.

In a court filing last month, Amsterdam chief executive James Davis said that during the economic downturn prospective residents couldn't sell their homes or get sufficient cash to pay the Amsterdam's one-time entrance fee of $424,600 to $1.7 million.

Residents are also charged a monthly service fee of $2,000 to $6,300 for meals and amenities such as a heated indoor pool and underground parking.

Davis said the Amsterdam would honor its commitments to its residents and 173 employees. In June the IDA awarded about $550,000 in property tax savings over nine years to the continuing-care facility. That's on top of a 25-year property tax break given in 2007.

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