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FERNANDINA BEACH, FL-The Jacksonville Business Journal reports that owners of the 1,350-acre Amelia Island Plantation Resort have filed for bankruptcy. The article notes that the resort will continue to operate during reorganization.

To assist with the reorganization, Amelia Island Co., which operates the resort, signed an agreement with Red Leaf Investors, a group of investors who own homes at the Plantation to provide an $18 million-to-$20 million debtor-in-possession financing. The company indicated to the judge at Florida’s Middle District of U.S. Bankruptcy Court that it would not have sufficient cash to meet payroll without the facility. The plan is for Red Leaf to eventually become long-term equity partners in Amelia Island Co., the article says.

The property, located about 30 miles north of Jacksonville in Nassau County, has been struggling with slowing occupancy of its rental units, along with a slowdown in leisure and travel since the financial meltdown in late September 2008. The article notes that revenues and profits have both fallen.

Amelia Island Co. attempted to reach a deal earlier this year with Redquartz Developments Atlanta, a subsidiary of Dublin-based Redquartz Developments Ltd. Redquartz offered $60 million for a 51% ownership stake in the resort, but ultimately couldn’t fund the transaction within Amelia Island Co.’s time frame.

The Plantation has a 249-room hotel, 49,000 square feet of meeting place, nine restaurants, 23 tennis courts and four 18-hole golf courses, among other amenities. The Jacksonville Business Journal says that, according to court documents, the asset’s 1,150 condos, 800 homes and 180 lots have an aggregate value of $1.95 billion.

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