Manhattan real estate developer Donald Zucker has agreed to purchase the bankrupt Long Island National Golf Club in Riverhead, an attorney involved in the sale said Wednesday. A company established by Zucker, Golf Riverhead LLC, last month agreed to pay $6 million for the course, though the property would have been subject to an auction if other parties were willing to bid higher.
"No other qualifying, competing bids were received, and therefore no auction was held as set forth in the order approving the bid procedures," said Adam Wofse, attorney for the course's owner, William Gatz of Cutchogue. "The debtor will be moving forward to close with the buyer."
Zucker's offer was what is called a "stalking horse bid," which sets a floor price for an auction. Wofse, an attorney at the Wantagh firm of LaMonica Herbst & Maniscalco LLP, said the bankruptcy judge at the federal court in Central Islip approved the sale Wednesday.
The money raised by the auction will not be enough to pay off the golf course's $8.4 million of debt. The property is being sold by Gatz Properties LLC, which entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year after a Delaware Court of Chancery judge ordered Gatz to pay investors $1.7 million. The company also owes Flushing Bank $6.7 million.
Zucker bought another distressed golf course in 2009 when he purchased the North Shore Country Club in Glen Head.
Last month Bob Esnard, president of the Zucker Organization, told Newsday that Zucker wants to keep Long Island National as a golf course rather than develop housing on the property.