Friday, July 31, 2015

Woodcrest Country Club bankrupt

Historically Jewish club files to avoid sheriff's sale, Sun bank debt

Woodcrest Country Club bankrupt

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Woodcrest Country Club, Cherry Hill, a historically Jewish club that traces its roots to the 1920s, has filed for federal bankruptcy protection.

The move follows Woodcrest's failure to secure court approval to delay a scheduled sheriff's sale scheduled for May 9. Club officers saw bankruptcy as the only alternative, notes Alan Fellheimer, who represented Woodcrest in a dispute with its lender, National Freight/NFI Logistics owners Bernie and Sid Brown's Sun National Bank.

Woodcrest owes Sun more than $10 million, twice the property's estimated value.  The bank had financed an ill-fated clubhouse expansion.  Longtime Woodcrest officers including Hill International chairman Irv Richter had been negotiating with the Brown family over terms for several years - see my 2010 story - but couldn't reach a compromise.

Another club that dates to the days when Jewish Americans founded their own country clubs because they were excluded from some mainstream institutions, Wilmington's Brandywine Country Club, in January agreed to be acquired by developer Louis Capano, though golf continues for now.

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PhillyDeals posts drafts, transcripts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area business, which he's been writing since 1989.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn and taught writing at St. Joseph's. He has written thousands of columns and articles for the Inquirer, Bloomberg and other media, wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com, distefano251@gmail.com, 215.854.5194 or 302.652.2004.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

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