(Crystal Proenza is associate editor of RealEstate Florida.)

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WEST PALM BEACH, FL-Bank of America is proceeding withforeclosure of a mortgage to locally based Premier Developers.According to the lawsuit, the development firm went into default onan $18-million acquisition and construction loan made by the bankfor a waterfront condominium project here called Gramercy Court.Principals at the developer's firm were not available for commenton Friday.

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"They were in default and we tried to work with them," ShirleyNorton, a spokesperson for Bank of America, tells GlobeSt.com,adding that she cannot discuss any other details at this time. LeeD. Mackson, the Shutts & Bowen LLP attorney representing Bankof America, tells GlobeSt.com that the bank does not comment onpending litigation.

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Premier obtained the loan in January 2006, according to the suitfiled, to build Gramercy Court, a 168-unit luxury condominiumcomplex on North Flagler Drive across from the IntracoastalWaterway with units ranging from $300,000 for one- and two-bedroomunits to $2 million three and four-story townhomes. Amenities atthe six-story structure were set to include a game room, lounge, acourtyard the size of a football field, rooftop pools, a sunsetdeck and tennis courts. The developer, who reportedly has not givenup on the plans and will try to eventually build the project,failed to repay Bank of America by the loan's Jan. 31 maturity dateafter which the bank sent a default notice to Premier on Feb. 28,according to court documents.

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"We still love the area and location," Bradley Deckelbaum,principal of Premier, told the Daily Business Review, a publicationrelated to GlobeSt.com through common ownership. He said less than20% of the units at the planned development have been sold, andthat the deposits received are being held in escrow accounts. "Weare trying our best to work with the bank," he told the DailyBusiness Review. "We've been setting ourselves up to be in the bestposition we can be when the housing market and national economycomes back to some level of normalcy."

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In its lawsuit, Bank of America asks that the court of PalmBeach County appoint a receiver of the property to preserve,protect, complete and operate the improvements during the time ofthe trial. The document also asserts that as a result of thedefaulted mortgage, the property be sold at public sale.

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Premier has been in business for four generations and hassuccessfully completed luxury condos projects in South Florida,including Bellaria in Palm Beach and La Rive in Fort Lauderdale.The company claims over $1 billion worth of homes to itscredit.

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