Basketball great Julius Erving was pursuing a dream when he purchased an Atlanta area golf course in 2006.
Erving wanted to invest, so when a long-time friend told him about the Heritage Golf Club in Tucker, it sounded like the perfect opportunity. Erving's partner handled all of the details, his attorney Dorna Taylor said. (The AJC is seeking a response from the partner and is not naming him until we get a chance to get his side of the story.)
Now the course is up for foreclosure, Erving's attorney told the AJC.
"From day one, the business could not support the expenses," attorney Taylor said.
What Erving didn't know was that the previous owner's mortgage on the property was in default, Taylor said.
The golf course, which Erving renamed Celebrity Golf Club International was not worth the $11 million loan Erving assumed, Taylor said. Taylor said she believes Erving's former friend knew the property wouldn't appraise for the loan amount.
Erving moved to Atlanta in 2008 and went to work trying to turn things around the golf course, Taylor said. But the monthly expenses were too steep based on the actual revenue at the club, she said. He's now out about $5 million, Taylor said.
"Mr. Erving never took a salary," Taylor said. "He never recouped any of his investment."
Although there is still a chance the bank and Erving could work out a deal, Taylor doesn't think that's likely. Instead, the entire episode will serve as a learning experience.
Erving isn't done with golf, his attorney said.
"He has a plan to develop several courses throughout the world," Taylor said. "He's definitely not quitting."
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