The controversial Grande Bay condo/timeshare development at Cruz Bay is front and center in a Sarasota, Fla. courtroom.
At the defendant's table is David S. Band, a real estate developer and law firm founder. He is accused of defrauding his partner by not properly overseeing the project.
Wanda Libby, wife of the partner making the charge said when she visited, "It was just a total mess."
Budgeted originally at $15 million, the Sarasota Circuit Court was told the ultimate cost is more likely $45 or $50 million, according to a report published by the town's Herald Tribune newspaper. The project is still unfinished, according to testimony.
"Band ... counters that hurricanes, subcontractors who went out of business and delays in obtaining building permits lengthened building time," the newspaper reported. (Ask any villa owner and he/she will agree that building on the island rarely adheres to plan or budget.)\
Grande Bay has been an irritant to many locals for more than five years. They say the design and scope of the project is not in keeping with the image of a laid back, easy-going, island.