BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MI-A member of the Bloomfield Open Hunt Club has said officers running the club were incompetent in the handling of finances after a loan was taken out for an expansion in 1997, forcing the businesses to put 26 of its 75 acres up for sale to pay the balance of the debt.

The Bloomfield Hills club, on Long Lake and Kensington roads, has many three and four-figure salary members. They enjoy the club’s swimming, racquetball, dining, tennis and recreational offerings. The group developed a new clubhouse for $6 million in 1997, but didn’t take into account the amount of the loan interest, James Elsman tells He’s a tennis member of the club, and a senior partner in the law firm Elsman and Associates in Birmingham.

“They didn’t figure in the amount of the debt,” he reports. “If you take out a $7 million loan, and have 10% interest per year, you’re going to have to come up with another $700,000.”

He adds that the owners of the club did not figure in the interest payments when deciding how much money it could pay for the expansion loan.

The clubhouse was supposedly built to raise membership, but failed. It had to raise fees, and the members dropped out, Elsman says.”It’s a known fact, it’s hard to keep up club memberships these days,” Elsman states.He notes that the club will sell the land for about $7 million to developer Kojaian Cos. in the city.Club president Don Graves would not return phone calls.

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