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DVA still hopes to build Lakewood Ranch Arena

Sal Diaz-Verson wants to finish the arean that was started in Bradenton, FL. But he hasn’t said yet how he will get the money needed to do so.
It comes to this: Sal Diaz-Verson is basically saying, "Trust me. I’ll find a way to get this done." The subject is the Lakewood Ranch Arena near Bradenton, FL, a project that was started three years ago but is still sitting just half-done.

Regular readers may recall there has been a series of legal hassles and obstacles all year. It seemed headed to a conclusion of sorts a month agao with a foreclosure sale but Diaz-Verson tossed everybody a curve when his company, DVA, LLC, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

That left two main creditors — Schroeder-Manatee Ranch (DVA owes them $6.3 million for a promissory nore) and Walbridge-Aldinger (owed $9 million for construction costs) sitting, waiting and wondering.

Diaz-Verson is now saying he has some funding lined up but admits he needs a little more. He won’t reveal his entire plane yet but says he will be able to raise the total amount needed to get the project completed. Theresa Boatner, the trustee who is trying over see this mess, says that figure is around $40 million. To which Diaz-Verson replied, "In my world, that’s small money when you are talking about finance."

Perhaps. In addition to the money owed to SMR and Walbridge-Aldinger, there are a couple of lawsuits that are still unsettled.

For now, the arena remains half-built, as its future will be decided in a bankruptcy court in Tampa.