West Seattle Blog... » WS Health Club/ex-Athletic Club/ex-Allstar Fitness http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Fri, 28 Nov 2014 05:07:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 2 followups in gym saga: Ex-owner’s bankruptcy; new-club info http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/2-followups-in-gym-saga-ex-owners-bankruptcy-new-club-info/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/2-followups-in-gym-saga-ex-owners-bankruptcy-new-club-info/#comments Sun, 16 Nov 2014 21:21:56 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=292298 1:21 PM: First, to be clear if you haven’t been following this closely, former NFL player Sam Adams is no longer the owner of the gym at 2629 SW Andover – as part of his bankruptcy proceedings, he gave up the lease three weeks ago, after announcing the then-West Seattle Club would be closed for two days; it reopened a week and a half later under a “new” owner – the landlord – and a new name, West Seattle Health Club. Here are two updates, one relating to the ex-ownership, one relating to the new:

ADAMS BANKRUPTCY NOW CHAPTER 7: Originally, Adams and his wife filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in late June, days before an eviction hearing related to the fitness center, which he had purchased for $75,000 as part of its previous owner’s business-bankruptcy case in early 2013. As reported here October 28th, the federal trustee proposed either dismissing the case or converting it to Chapter 7 for reasons including the Adamses’ failure to file mandatory financial reports since the filing. They have since filed reports, but at a hearing this past Friday, according to bankruptcy-court documents, they also voluntarily agreed to have the case converted to Chapter 7. (As explained here, the difference between 7 and 11 can be described as “liquidation” vs. “rehabilitation.”)

NEW CLUB UPDATE: The long comment thread following our previous report, from the West Seattle Health Club’s opening date on November 4th, continues to include questions from customers past and present. A club employee e-mailed to say he has started an unofficial Facebook page in the club’s name, where he’s posting information, since the club’s “placeholder” website has yet to be updated. Find it here.

COVERAGE ARCHIVE … all our coverage of what’s transpired relating to the 2629 SW Andover club, under four names over the past 2 years, is archived here, newest to oldest.

ADDED 7:51 PM: While writing this, we e-mailed WSHC VP Dan Lehr with a few questions, to which he has replied. Most importantly, he says, he expects to update its website this week, now that they have “firm ship dates” for equipment that’s on order, as well as firming up other operational details. Our other question was about the pool; Lehr says, “The cold weather has slowed our painting in the pool area. I won’t be able to give a firm date on the pool completion until I receive our quotes to fix the pool equipment. Hopefully I’ll have that by Wednesday. … Unfortunately the HVAC over the pool was in such a state of disrepair we had to order an entirely new system. I’ll have an ETA on that later this week as well and will update the site.”

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West Seattle Health Club open, after 12-day ownership-change closure http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/west-seattle-health-club-open-after-12-day-ownership-change-closure/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/west-seattle-health-club-open-after-12-day-ownership-change-closure/#comments Tue, 04 Nov 2014 17:40:32 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=291004

After a 12-day closure, the fitness-center building at 2629 SW Andover did indeed open this morning as the West Seattle Health Club (thanks to the commenters who provided first word). If you’ve missed our ongoing coverage, this is the building previously long known as Allstar Fitness, then for about a year and a half as the West Seattle (Athletic) Club.

The owner of the latter, Sam Adams, facing an October 24th court-ordered deadline to pay $1.1 million (mostly back rent), closed it as of October 23rd (though signage only mentioned a two-day closure); documents in his personal Chapter 11 bankruptcy case indicate that he technically “rejected” continuing the lease as of October 27th. On Saturday, October 25th, it was announced that property owner John Pietromonaco had taken it over and would reopen it as a new club with a new name. The new club’s operations VP Dan Lehr told WSB last night that there would be a “skeleton class schedule” for starters, that child care would be available, and that the pool will remain closed for repair/renovations “for about two weeks.” For more backstory, our ongoing coverage is archived here, newest to oldest (we have just merged the archives of coverage so it traces all the way back to our first report on the Allstar bankruptcy two years ago).

ADDED 4 PM: The opening exercise schedule. (Please refer to the club’s website for further updates.)

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West Seattle Health Club: Reopening Tuesday, says new manager http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/west-seattle-health-club-reopening-tuesday-says-new-management/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/west-seattle-health-club-reopening-tuesday-says-new-management/#comments Sat, 01 Nov 2014 23:26:48 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=290775 Tuesday (November 4th) is now set as the date the former West Seattle (Athletic) Club will reopen as West Seattle Health Club, according to Dan Lehr, who is managing WSHC for property owner John Pietromonaco. He also tells WSB that a “simple placeholder website” is up at westseattlehc.com. Another thing Lehr mentioned that isn’t on that website yet: “I should also have all payroll records as well as membership information sometime Tuesday so we can get a hold of everyone. … Prices will be the same as before and we will extend membership expiration dates for people that have paid-in-full memberships and not bill monthly members for the days we were closed.” If you want to contact them for more information, the “placeholder website” includes an e-mail-contact form.

This is the tenth day the club at 2629 SW Andover has been closed; its former ownership announced the club would close Thursday, October 23, and Friday, October 24, reopening Saturday, October 25th, but instead of reopening, the former ownership turned it over to the property owner to whom they would have had to have paid $1.1 million in back rent and other charges in order to keep it. A message in the name of former owner Sam Adams was sent to a membership mailing list last Wednesday; it included an apology and a denial of the landlord’s allegations of “sabotage” in the moving-out process.

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West Seattle Health Club update: Hoping to open Sunday http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/west-seattle-health-club-update-hoping-to-open-sunday/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/west-seattle-health-club-update-hoping-to-open-sunday/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 02:34:09 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=290495 By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Members of the abruptly shuttered West Seattle (Athletic) Club are wondering when its successor, the West Seattle Health Club, will open.

We talked this afternoon with Dan Lehr, who is managing the transition for property owner John Pietromonaco, who is now the club owner too.

“Possibly as early as Sunday, maybe sooner,” Lehr told WSB in a phone conversation.

“We were hoping for tomorrow, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.” Since they’ll be opening “without computers,” he says, “my thought is that we’re just going to let people come in for free, the entire community, even if you’re not a member.”

Regarding the e-mail sent to WS (Athletic) Club members yesterday (WSB coverage here), signed in the name of WSAC owner Sam Adams, Lehr dismissed the allegations as “complete bull.” Among them, the e-mail’s claim that all membership records would be destroyed.

That’s not possible, Lehr said, because the digital version of those records “is in the cloud.” Lehr said he has contacted “the people who do the billing and I shut off Sam’s account. As of today, nobody can be billed (by the previous club)… it physically couldn’t happen. Now what we’re trying to do is, see if we can port over all the membership info so we could sort through all that” and see about transferring memberships, extending them for the time lost while the club has been closed, etc.

Lehr says they have retained the “key executive staff, key management … obviously let a few people go who were kind of aligned with Sam (and who) we felt weren’t going to be a good fit moving forward.” Today, they were setting up a new payroll account “and hoping … to port over all the employee information to us so we can seamlessly move into payroll.”

But what that means for time worked before the previous club closed, isn’t yet clear, Lehr cautions. “We have not decided how/if we’re going to cover any of the payroll that Sam (had) due … his checks went out on the 28th, he claims … we’ll see if any of them are good … (and then) we’ll decide what to do.”

What about the pool? we asked. “That’s the biggest problem right now; it’s going to be down for a good three weeks. Since (Adams) drained it, we’re going to take that opportunity to paint the inside of the metal canopy on the ceiling, fix the lights, a lot of pool equipment that was in a state of disrepair, fixing that as we speak … lot of electrical issues, it wasn’t being ventilated, fixing that … fixing the HVAC and that started on Monday and I believe that continues as we speak. They have to order some parts for some of the compressors, the locker rooms and the pool area.”

What about the equipment, since Adams removed some if not most of it? Lehr says the “stuff that does work” is in the third-floor cardio area. They’ve concentrated “anything that doesn’t work” into what had been the “women’s only” area, temporarily. And now, repairs will begin. Plus, they put in orders yesterday for $538,000 worth of new equipment, described by Lehr as “all new cardio, lots of new group fitness equipment, all new free weights … dumbbells, barbells, plates … (and) some really cool functional fitness stuff.”

Lehr says they’ve also brought in supplies, “day-care stuff, we’re working on the furniture, TV’s are on order, computers are (on the way), and new security-system cameras are being installed.”

A commenter asked about Emerald City Smoothie, which has a location in the club’s lobby. “They will stay,” Lehr said. “We’ve been in contact with them and are meeting the owners on Saturday and looking at their agreement.”

Along with everything else mentioned, according to Lehr, the club has been cleaned and “a lot of painting is going on.”

One more question – what about the lockers? At least one WSB commenter mentioned having left some stuff in them. Lehr said they were supposed to just be for day use, so nothing should have been in them, but that said, a few do have locks, so they’re going to leave those be for now instead of going along with an original plan to cut the locks off.

To recap briefly, if you’re just coming in on this: After a somewhat turbulent year and a half of ownership, which followed the previous ownership’s sale of the club during bankruptcy proceedings, Sam Adams closed the club last week, with a notice saying it would be closed Thursday/Friday and would reopen Saturday; it did not reopen Saturday, and Lehr announced the property owner had taken it over and was creating a new club called the West Seattle Health Club.

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E-mail signed Sam Adams: ‘The West Seattle Club has closed … For falling short, I apologize’ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/e-mail-signed-sam-adams-the-west-seattle-club-has-closed-for-falling-short-i-apologize/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/e-mail-signed-sam-adams-the-west-seattle-club-has-closed-for-falling-short-i-apologize/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 23:00:09 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=290297 For the first time since the fitness center at 2629 SW Andover closed last Thursday – billed as a two-day closure but then extended by an ownership change – members on a mailing list from the former ownership received a message this afternoon. This is the entire unedited text of the e-mail:

It is with great sorrow that I write to you that the West Seattle Club has closed. The landlord will be taking over shortly and the club will be back open as soon as possible. I am sorry that I was unable to turn the club around from its first bankruptcy and I take full responsibility for its failure. The strain on the relationship with the landlord became too much as he refused to fix anything structural or mechanical in the club. I invested money into systems and structures that are typically not the tenants responsibility. The landlord refused to fix the following:

The HVAC system. This caused the system to always broken. It was either too hot or too cold.
The swimming pool filtration system was always broken.
The electrical wiring was in adequate in the building which caused fires and the voltage spikes. These spikes would cause the pool and hot tub control equipment to always blow up, fail, or catch on fire. Thus the hot tub and pool are always out of order. These spikes also blew up a lot of the cardio equipment. That is why a lot of pieces were always down.
The pool is not VGB certified and was supposed to be certified back in 2011. By draining the pool the landlord can get this fixed so the pool is to code.
The sprinkler system in the locker rooms are too short so we could not put a ceiling up in the locker rooms.
The air exchange system in the locker rooms is broken so the ceiling do not always dry and they collect water which leads to the mold.
The air exchange system in the pool does not work properly and should be replaced. That is why the walls are dripping with rust.
Landlord needs to tear out the shower walls so mold and water will not continue to go into the shower walls.
Landlord needs to replace all of the leaky windows.

I have also taken out most of my equipment and will hopefully be able to finish removing the remaining pieces in order to make room for your new owner to purchase newer equipment for the club. The club was not attacked or sabotaged. The swimming pool was drained so it can be repaired, the drains brought to code, and painted. There was no vandalism and there was a lot of good equipment left. I left the carpet shampoo machine, tile cleaning machine for the bathrooms, and many other cleaning supplies. All paper towel dispensers were left on the walls. The club needs cleaning from the move, upgrades in equipment, supplies purchased. All of which is a small investment by your new owner John Pietromonaco. If you have any question you can contact him by clicking on his name or you can call his office at (206) 232-7502 .

All of your membership and credit card information has been removed from the premises and will be destroyed. If you would like to sign back up at the club you will have to email John or stop by the club. Your memberships are officially terminated and you will not be charged again by the West Seattle Club. Some of you have not been charged for the last two months as we have been in transition with our new management software CSI. You will not be charged for those two months. For those of you that have been charged before the club was closed down or you joined less than 30 days ago, you will be receiving a full refund. If you have any questions please feel free to email us from the website at www.westseattleclub.com. We will be using the contact information that we have on file to send you your refund.

There are also many mistakes that I made that I will learn from. West Seattle is a great community and deserves a great club for people to reach their fitness goals. For falling short I apologize. Good luck and God Bless.

Sam Adams

The denial of sabotage is an apparent response to what the property owner’s representative, Dan Lehr, said in a message we published as part of our Saturday night coverage.

Meantime, a new document in Adams’s bankruptcy-case file confirms what had been mentioned in other documents the past few days – what technically happened is that he sought extra time to decide on whether to extend or “reject” the club lease, a decision required as part of the proceedings, and last Friday, the judge turned down the request, so the lease was “rejected” as of this past Monday. The newest information from the new ownership/management of the 2629 SW Andover facility is in this story we published Tuesday afternoon; we’ll update this with anything else that comes in this afternoon/evening.

4:21 PM: While the message suggests e-mailing “from the website,” we haven’t found an e-mail address on it so far. A couple layers in, we did find this form; let us know if you use it and get a reply.

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Followup: West Seattle Health Club transition ‘moving faster than expected’; plus, new developments in ex-owner’s bankruptcy case http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/followup-west-seattle-health-club-transition-moving-faster-than-expected-plus-new-developments-in-ex-owners-bankruptcy-case/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/followup-west-seattle-health-club-transition-moving-faster-than-expected-plus-new-developments-in-ex-owners-bankruptcy-case/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 21:06:00 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=290084

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

We’re continuing to track the transition at 2629 SW Andover from the suddenly shut-down West Seattle (Athletic) Club to the new West Seattle Health Club.

The former, owned by Sam Adams since early last year, announced a two-day closure last week but did not reopen on Saturday as promised; later Saturday, a representative of property owner John Pietromonaco announced that they’ve taken over and will open the facility as a new club.

First, the newest update, received this morning from that representative, Dan Lehr, who is managing the transition to WS Health Club and says it is “moving faster than expected.” He describes the points below (unedited, as we received them) as “updates from my staff”:

Opening date still up in the air but at this rate late week is very doable. We need to get the staff up to speed on how to handle membership questions and that is up in the air right now.

Phones by Thursday

Club being painted in pool area and men’s locker room as well as kidz club grounds being cleaned Thursday

Computers up by Wednesday or Thursday after security system is re-instated

Payroll being set-up by Wednesday

Still trying to get membership information so memberships can be extended for days the club was closed website – hopefully by end of the Wednesday

New equipment ordered will start arriving in two weeks. Over 40 pieces of new cardio – 300k

All equipment organized

3rd Floor
———-
All trash collected.
Mirrors Wiped.
Window ledges wiped.
Reception desk (2) thoroughly wiped and cleaned.
All exercise equipment disinfected and wiped.
All weights put back in order.
Vacuumed and Dust Mop ( Will damp mop Tuesday).

2nd Floor
———-
Moved furniture – Put furniture back in uniform in offices etc.
Will buff out heel marks on floor area of Aerobic Room (Tuesday)

1st Floor
———-
Power sprayed and disinfected utilizing a deodorizer both Men’s and Women’s locker rooms showers. All Floor areas machine scrubbed and cleaned.

Will start carpet cleaning some areas of the 3rd floor later Tuesday evening as cleaning crew closes shift. We will also use a good deodorizer on carpet.

(Monday) almost everything was cleared from the front lobby. Almost all equipment was put to back together that had all the nuts and bolts. All the working spin bikes were put back into the spin class. Working equipment was all moved to the third floor too. It looks a lot better no gaps except for walking space. Dumbbells were put on what remaining dumbbell racks we had left and workout plates were loaded on equipment, due to no weight tree’s to stock them on. The housekeeping storage was cleared out, all supplies was stocked into the house keeping area. All machines were wiped down and almost all trash has been picked up. The locker room and shower areas were also kai vacced and auto scrubbed. We made sure to also clear out the women’s only area. The only thing we have left in women’s only is broken equipment and heavy machines that need to be broken down because there too heavy to put on the piano dolly’s. All floors were vacuumed and most floors were dust mopped/mopped. Mirrors were cleaned among other things.

If you missed our first report about the transition, published Saturday night, see it here – it includes Lehr’s first report on what happened and what’s ahead.

Meantime, as for the prior ownership: Neither we nor members, by any account, have received any information since the Thursday/Friday closure was announced in an e-mail to some members (a few of whom forwarded it to us) last week. (The building’s new management makes it clear that they are a separate operation, starting from scratch.)

The state Attorney General’s office says it’s not uncommon for health/fitness clubs to abruptly close. So not uncommon, in fact, the AG’s website has a specific page with information about your rights, and how to file a complaint – here’s the direct link. A key point: “If the health club closes permanently, and the owner does not have a comparable facility within 10 miles of the club, you can cancel and receive a pro-rated refund of your initiation fee.”

There’s no new paperwork as of this writing in the online file for what had been an eviction action – “unlawful detainer” – against the club’s previous ownership. As we had originally reported earlier this month, a deadline of October 24th, last Friday, had been set for a $1.1 million payment due (mostly back rent) to the property owner, to hold off eviction. The court documents had said that Adams’ company expected to get that money from a loan for which it said it had a contract. But as of midweek, property owner Pietromonaco said that money hadn’t been received and that he had “a plan” if it didn’t arrive. What’s happening now is apparently the execution of that plan; state corporate records show that Pietromonaco created the West Seattle Health Club LLC on October 17th, one week before the deadline.

The eviction action originally was filed in May, but on the eve of a scheduled hearing in late June, it was put on automatic hold when Adams and his wife filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy organization. That hold – a stay – was lifted after they missed a court-ordered August deadline for payment of some back rent.

Now the Chapter 11 filing itself is in jeopardy, according to the newest paperwork filed in the federal bankruptcy case. The US trustee says that Adams has not filed a single one of the monthly financial reports required since the filing, so she is asking bankruptcy court Judge Marc Barreca to either convert it to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing or to dismiss the case entirely, which would mean that the Adamses lose the various protections conferred by a Chapter 11. The motion is set for a November 14th hearing.

Another recent action filed in the bankruptcy case was from a financial-services company that wanted to be added to the list of creditors, saying Sam Adams entered into a contract, less than a month before the Chapter 11 filing, selling a certain amount of “future receivables” to the company, for a six-figure sum, but not notifying it about the subsequent filing. The Adamses’ bankruptcy lawyer filed a response to this last week, saying that the “future receivables” deal actually wasn’t struck by Sam (A.) Adams, but by his father Sam E. Adams, acting on that particular day as a representative of the company. The document also notes that Sam E. Adams lives in Texas.

And in the moments before publishing this, we checked the bankruptcy-case records one more time. The couple from whom the Adamses were buying a waterfront Kirkland home on a rent-to-own basis are seeking a court order requiring rent payment, which they say hasn’t happened for some months. Their motion notes that with the fitness club closure – described as “deemed rejection of … the lease” – and the aforementioned motion to convert the bankruptcy to Chapter 7, “Mr. Adams’ prospects for reorganization appear even more dim than they were before.”

Sam A. Adams, a former pro-football player, bought the club during bankruptcy proceedings for the former operation, Allstar Fitness; we chronicled that transition and the previous bankruptcy proceedings in stories archived here (reverse-chronological order), October 2012-January 2014. The coverage of now-defunct WS (Athletic) Club will have its own archive shortly.

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West Seattle (Athletic) Club ‘is no longer operational’ – it’s becoming West Seattle Health Club http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/west-seattle-athletic-club-is-no-longer-operational-its-becoming-west-seattle-health-club/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/west-seattle-athletic-club-is-no-longer-operational-its-becoming-west-seattle-health-club/#comments Sun, 26 Oct 2014 02:52:53 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=289886 (SUNDAY NIGHT UPDATE FROM NEW MANAGER IN COMMENTS)

7:52 PM: The fitness club at 2629 SW Andover – closed since Thursday – has a new name: West Seattle Health Club.

And we’ve just found out a lot more from the man who says property owner John Pietromonaco has hired him to run it, Dan Lehr.

He expects it to remain closed at least until the end of the week.

(added) First, from an e-mail Lehr sent just before our conversation, this is what he says has happened, and what he says is being planned:

As you are well aware Sam vacated the premises Friday night and left the club in a state of disarray. Even stooping so low as to sabotage many of the clubs systems and equipment – most seriously of which is the pool, threw employee shirts and toilet paper into the pool filters and drained the pool of water.

He removed most of the cardio equipment and anything that was left was either in a state of disrepair or already out of order. Most of the free weights have been removed as well as most anything else that wasn’t nailed down, including computers, phones, sound systems and all membership records. Fortunately most of the selectorized weight machines (have weight stacks & pins) were left behind and are in good working order. In short most anything that could be easily removed was taken.

HRP Properties has a vested interest in the property which was designed solely to be an Athletic Club. We fully intend to continue to operate the property as a full service athletic facility and are committed to restoring the club to its former “fully operational state”.

Some of the items that will be addressed immediately will include the following:
Club HVAC systems will be repaired – this is to begin Monday of this coming week.
The entire club will be deep cleaned from top to bottom – locker rooms, carpets, shower areas – everything.
Cardio equipment will be either repaired or replaced with new
Free Weights will be replaced with new
Stereos and TV’S – replaced with new
Numerous other miscellaneous fitness and operations items replaced with new
Grounds will be cleaned
Pool areas will be renovated as needed

Our phone conversation went a lot further, including where West Seattle (Athletic) Club memberships stand, and more, including Lehr’s background. Adding that shortly.

ADDED 9:31 PM: Lehr says he’s “been in the health and fitness industry for 25 years as a club owner,” including “Redmond Athletic Club, which I designed and built from the ground up.” Again, he says property owner Pietromonaco is now the owner – and that, he says, is rare, for a club operator to own the land and building – and he has been hired to manage and basically rebuild it. He says he generally operates with a “relaxed culture” and wants to “build up morale, get a new culture in there, that starts to emanate to the members – the past two operators have left the members high and dry.”

About the members: Where do they stand?

Lehr says they are “trying to get the membership information, it’s hosted on a cloud site, we’re working to obtain all that. If we can get that, we can start crediting people, extending (their) information because of downtime, but without that, we can’t take care of those folks. But what we will do is start up another club they can come and join for no startup fees. We’re going to try to come up with a dues structure. We’re still gathering information on what (the previous operation) had been selling. We’re going to come up with one that is competitive and still viable to make the club profitable.”

Lehr says he is not entirely sure what the status was as Adams left – was he formally evicted? did he officially hand over the business? Just one thing: “(Adams’ club) is no longer operational. State law requires him to find a comparable facility (to keep members) within 10 miles and he has not done that, so he cannot bill members again.” He says Adams is using “nearby” storage for what he removed from the club.

“We’re going to do the right thing. I’m not sure what that is yet. My past experience, I’ve taken over clubs before. We want everyone to stay. We want the chance to show them (what we can do). … If I can get membership and dues information, then I’m in a seamless situation. If I don’t have that, I can’t.”

He said they hope “to be operational sometime near the end of next week.” (The pool could take up to 4 weeks, since he says they will take the opportunity for some HVAC improvements, repainting, etc., in that part of the club.) “But we have to have a lot in place – a point of sale system, new member contracts,” and they will be meeting with staff. He says they want to be completely “transparent” as they move through the process of opening the “new” club and promises daily updates.

SUNDAY NIGHT: Since it’s been a busy day with windstorm aftermath, Harvest Festival, etc., we don’t have a new standalone story, but did note that the new manager has posted this in comments tonight.

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West Seattle (Athletic) Club update: Closure continues http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/west-seattle-athletic-club-update-closure-day-2/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/west-seattle-athletic-club-update-closure-day-2/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 22:33:46 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=289755 (SATURDAY MORNING UPDATE: Club has yet to reopen)

What appears to be a transition at West Seattle (Athletic) Club continues, with the fitness center closed again today, as announced in e-mail Wednesday and posted on the doors Thursday, both saying it will reopen tomorrow. We went by after a tip that police were called there at midday. No officers there when we arrived, but we did see the truck shown above and exercise equipment sitting outside.

SPD told us the call was about “a disturbance,” but did not lead to arrests. Today was the court-ordered deadline for club owner Sam Adams to pay property owner John Pietromonaco $1.1 million or face eviction; when contacted earlier this week, Pietromonaco told WSB that he had “a plan” if that didn’t happen. We asked the King County Sheriff’s Office if it had or was planning to serve eviction papers; spokesperson Sgt. DB Gates said the “writ of restitution” issued October 6th in the unlawful-detainer (eviction) case has been assigned to a detective, but they don’t comment further on specific plans for serving paperwork (or not).

ADDED 9:33 PM: Commenter John sent a photo of the drained pool, visible from the sidewalk:

If you plan on going there first thing tomorrow morning, please let us know (comment, e-mail, phone/text, whatever works) what you find – open, closed, etc. Thank you!

SAT. MORNING, 8:43 AM: We won’t be able to go look for a while longer but as of a short time ago, a caller says, closed and locked, same sign.

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West Seattle (Athletic) Club closed today, tomorrow, with change reported to be in the works http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/west-seattle-athletic-club-closed-today-tomorrow-with-change-reported-to-be-in-the-works/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/west-seattle-athletic-club-closed-today-tomorrow-with-change-reported-to-be-in-the-works/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 19:05:44 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=289652

Apparently not all West Seattle (Athletic) Club members received the e-mail announcement that the fitness center at 2629 SW Andover is closed today and tomorrow, as the court-ordered deadline for its owner to pay $1.1 million nears. E-mail from several members this morning indicated the closure has indeed happened, without explanation (and we just went over to photograph the sign on the door). We added the announcement last night to our most recent update (read it here).

The closure so far seems to match the scenario laid out in a club employee’s e-mail to some of its fitness instructors; that e-mail suggested the club would reopen under new management/ownership. As first reported here in early October – and reiterated by property owner John Pietromonaco when we spoke with him Tuesday – this Friday is the deadline for owner Sam Adams to pay $1.1 million, mostly back rent, or face eviction. Pietromonaco told us that if Adams failed to do that, he had a plan to keep the club running. If any new information on the club’s future becomes available today, we’ll add to this story.

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West Seattle (Athletic) Club: Three days to $1.1 million deadline http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/west-seattle-athletic-club-3-days-to-1-1-million-deadline/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/west-seattle-athletic-club-3-days-to-1-1-million-deadline/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 22:54:35 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=289439 (UPDATED Wednesday afternoon with club’s e-mail re: Thursday/Friday closure plan)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The future of the West Seattle (Athletic) Club should be clearer, for now, by the end of the week.

This Friday (October 24th), as reported here two weeks ago, is the deadline for owner Sam Adams to pay $1.1 million in back rent/other payments to landlord John Pietromonaco, to hold off eviction. According to the court orders stipulating that deadline, a “loan contract already executed by [Adams's company] Hollystone Holdings” was going to provide that money.

However, with three days to go, he hasn’t paid up, according to Pietromonaco, who we reached by phone this afternoon.

Pietromonaco told us that officially, the situation remains: Friday is the deadline for Adams to pay what is owed; otherwise, they have court-granted authority for the King County Sheriff’s Office to carry out an eviction order. If that happens, he said without elaborating, they have a plan to keep the club running.

An e-mail from a club employee to some club instructors, forwarded to us anonymously, goes further and suggests that an ownership change is imminent as of next weekend, and that Adams plans to close the club for a time before then to remove equipment, with the unidentified new owner then bringing in their own. In terms of a timeline, Pietromonaco would only say that we’ll see what happens Friday.

As recently as October 8th – the day after we reported the October 24th payment deadline – official club communications were declaring an expectation that ownership/management wouldn’t change. This is from an e-mail blast sent that day to members:

… Here at The West Seattle Club we are committed to serving the needs of our community and appreciate the support from our dedicated members. Despite grumblings we are not closing, nor will the club close unless the landlord chooses. We are currently under a lease and are going back and forth with the landlord on key points. We plan on assuming the lease and continuing to move forward as we upgrade the facility. …

It’s been almost four months since Adams and his wife filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization on the last weekend in June, facing an eviction hearing the following Monday morning. The filing temporarily put eviction proceedings on hold, and Pietromonaco agreed that if Adams paid a certain amount by an agreed date in August – far lower than the current $1.1 million – operations could continue. That didn’t happen, and a new cycle of court proceedings followed, as reported here in September.

Adams, a former pro-football player, bought the club in spring 2013 during bankruptcy proceedings for the previous operation there, Allstar Fitness. His current Chapter 11 case has grown to include claims that he is also behind on rent on his waterfront home in Kirkland, purchased in a $3.8 million rent-to-own deal, with the landlords’ lawyer writing in court documents that they “… have been models of patience in awaiting the payment of rent.”

According to county records, Pietromonaco’s H-P Properties bought the two-acre 2629 SW Andover fitness-club property in 2008 for $17 million.

WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON FOLLOWUP: Thanks to those who have forwarded the club’s e-mail blast saying it’ll be closed tomorrow and Friday, reopening Saturday. That’s the entirety of what it says.

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West Seattle (Athletic) Club update: Deadline set for $1.1 million payment http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/west-seattle-athletic-club-update-deadline-set-for-1-1-million-payment/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/west-seattle-athletic-club-update-deadline-set-for-1-1-million-payment/#comments Wed, 08 Oct 2014 04:22:08 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=288068

(WSB file photo of West Seattle Club)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

New information tonight from the ongoing proceedings related to the proprietor of the West Seattle Club (formerly the West Seattle Athletic Club). When last we wrote about this on September 3rd, the property’s owner was trying to reopen the most recent “unlawful detainer” complaint – an action that can lead to eviction – which had been put on hold when club proprietor Sam Adams filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy organization in June.

On September 3rd, Adams, landlord John Pietromonaco, and their respective lawyers were in federal bankruptcy court downtown to argue over whether that hold (technically a stay) could be lifted. Adams hadn’t paid even the partial rent owed, his landlord’s lawyer David Tall argued, and had had enough time to do so. Judge Marc Barreca agreed the stay on the “unlawful detainer” proceedings could be lifted.

Though that case had been closed for lack of activity since the June stay, Tall filed to reopen it, and a King County Superior Court judge granted that request in mid-September. A hearing subsequently was set for yesterday morning in the Regional Justice Center courtroom where such cases are heard on Monday mornings if things haven’t been worked out before the hearing date. (When a similar action was scheduled for a hearing in February, it didn’t happen, because Adams had made a payment.)

This time, there was a hearing, albeit a brief one. The property owner’s lawyer Tall was there; no one was there on Adams’ behalf. But in these types of hearings, the documents usually say much more than the words actually spoken in court, so we waited to see them before writing this update, and by late today, they were available online.

Bottom line to the main document, an “agreed order”: If the landlord gets $1,150,000 by October 24th, the “unlawful detainer” case will be dismissed. According to the “agreed order,” that money is “being procured by financing to be extended to Hollystone Holdings Inc. pursuant to a loan contract already executed by Hollystone Holdings by its officer, Sam A. Adams.” The “agreed order” did not include any further details of that financing, but as noted in our last report, Adams’ lawyer told the bankruptcy judge in September that his client was pursuing a $3 million loan.

The “agreed order” also says that any and all “liens against the premises” must be paid with the expected loan money. Meantime, as this plays out in state court, Adams’ Chapter 11 case continues; documents in the federal file say one of the upcoming matters to be decided is the future of the club lease.

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Overdue, court-ordered rent payments for West Seattle Club lead to hearing as part of owner’s Chapter 11 case http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/overdue-court-ordered-rent-payments-for-west-seattle-club-lead-to-hearing-as-part-of-owners-chapter-11-case/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/overdue-court-ordered-rent-payments-for-west-seattle-club-lead-to-hearing-as-part-of-owners-chapter-11-case/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 02:04:49 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=284495 By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Two months after the owner of the West Seattle (Athletic) Club fitness center filed for personal bankruptcy, he and his landlord were in court today because an order to pay part of the club rent hadn’t been complied with.

As the club is a major West Seattle business with thousands of customers, community interest in its status remains high, so we’ve been following the bankruptcy-court-case filings – almost 100 of them – since Sam Adams and wife Erika Adams filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in late June (reported here on June 30th).

Today’s hearing was not the first held for various motions since then, but it’s the first one we have attended. Sam Adams and John Pietromonaco, owner of the club’s North Delridge site and building, were both in the downtown federal courtroom as their lawyers argued a key point relating to the three-week-old order for rent to be paid.

First, a bit of background:

The Adamses’ Chapter 11 filing on June 28th came just two days before Sam Adams was due in court related to the second “unlawful detainer” case filed on behalf of Pietromonaco’s H-P Properties (we reported the filing in mid-June), the type of case that can lead to eviction. The bankruptcy filing subsequently put that matter on hold – “stayed” it, in legal terminology. Then two weeks ago, according to the King County Superior Court docket, it formally closed because of inactivity; an earlier “unlawful detainer” case closed in February because Adams had paid an amount of money agreeable to the landlord, according to what his lawyer told WSB at the time.

Pietromonaco had said in court documents that Adams owed almost $600,000 at the time of the unlawful-detainer filing in May. In August, via a “motion for adequate protection” granted by the bankruptcy judge handling the case, Marc Barreca, it was agreed that for now, Adams could just pay “post-petition rent.” That was to start with what was owed since the bankruptcy filing, rent for July and August.

Judge Barreca’s order required payment of the July rent, $110,000, by August 12th, and the August rent by August 19th. The same court order called for Adams to pay the $110,000 rent by the 10th of each subsequent month. If the order wasn’t complied with, the judge ruled at the time, the landlord would have the right to seek relief from the stay of state proceedings, which he could grant “upon failure of Debtors to show adequate cause for failing to make such payment,” and that’s what he did today, after observing that “not a dime of rent has been paid” since his order.

The Adamses’ lawyer, Lawrence Engel, wanted to have Sam Adams testify to Judge Barreca today about his ongoing attempts to get a loan for the club. The judge said this hadn’t been called as an evidentiary hearing, so Adams couldn’t speak. Engel then presented a document he described as a “term sheet” for a $3 million loan Adams has said he is seeking. (So far, this is not filed as an official court document, so we haven’t seen it and don’t know what it says.) Engel mentioned that Adams has appeal to lenders because of his past as an NFL player, which is considered, he said, an asset in the health/fitness industry.

Arguing against the judge granting relief from the stay, Engel also said that while that loan is not a sure thing, at least not yet, a $100,000 loan is, and that Sam Adams could get that money within five days or so and give it to Pietromonaco.

Judge Barreca noted that $100,000 would be less than half what is owed for the “post-petition rent” for July and August, let alone the previously unpaid sum and what is due for September. So he signed an order “granting relief from stay,” which means that Pietromonaco and lawyer David Tall are free to go back to King County Superior Court and pursue action relating to the building’s status.

Also of note, Adams is quoted in court documents since the filing as saying that his brother Jeremy Adams is a part owner of the club and serves as its Chief Operating Officer. State documents list Sam Adams as the only governing member of the LLC, as the landlord’s lawyer pointed out while questioning him for a deposition that he gave under Rule 2004 (explained here), but Adams said that his brother was given an ownership interest last year and that the documents had been changed and submitted.

What happens next? The fitness club’s landlord is just one of the Adamses’ creditors; the Chapter 11 case in general is continuing to proceed. We’ll be watching court files, both federal and state (county), to see what happens, especially in the wake of today’s order. A year and a half has elapsed since Adams took over what had been West Seattle Allstar Fitness, after its former owner’s bankruptcy case led to the court-approved sale of its assets for $75,000.

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West Seattle Athletic Club owner Sam Adams files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/west-seattle-athletic-club-owner-sam-adams-files-for-chapter-11-bankruptcy/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/west-seattle-athletic-club-owner-sam-adams-files-for-chapter-11-bankruptcy/#comments Mon, 30 Jun 2014 20:54:40 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=277949 By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

On the day he was due to answer the most-recent “unlawful detainer” complaint from the owner of the North Delridge property that holds West Seattle Athletic Club, its owner Sam Adams advised King County Superior Court that he filed for bankruptcy over the weekend.

We have confirmed the Chapter 11 case via documents filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court‘s Western District of Washington.

The “unlawful detainer” complaint was first reported here two weeks ago, with court filings including a document in which club landlord John Pietromonaco alleged that he was owed more than $594,000 including back rent and late fees.

It was the second time this year that Pietromonaco’s firm H-P Properties filed an “unlawful detainer” case – seeking payment or eviction – was filed against Adams and the West Seattle club; the previous one, initiated in January, was closed in April after Adams made payments, according to the landlord’s lawyer, and the same document showed those payments totaled $286,000, more than half of what he owed at the time.

The response filed today says that by law, the unlawful-detainer proceedings against Adams regarding WSAC must be put on hold while the bankruptcy case proceeds: “… Any and all proceedings concerning the Defendants Adams’ individual tenancy at the subject leasehold are now stayed …” In an e-mail exchange, H-P Properties’ lawyer David Tall tells WSB that they will seek “… relief from [the] stay or the payment of adequate protection.”

Adams, a former Seattle Seahawks player who lives in Kirkland, bought the club in March of last year with approval of the judge in the bankruptcy proceedings – also Chapter 11 – of its previous ownership, which they had initiated in late summer 2012.

According to the documents filed in federal bankruptcy court as of this afternoon, the bankruptcy declaration was made on Saturday (June 28th). They include a list of “top unsecured claims” totaling $3.4 million dollars, the fourth largest of which is listed as $570,000 to H-P Properties. It and three larger claims, to Seattle, New York, and Los Angeles firms, are all described as “disputed.”

Another document, involving the hiring of a Bellevue-based bankruptcy attorney, includes this line: “Client acknowledges Sam Adams contacted Attorney late in the week before a scheduled commercial eviction. As such, Client acknowledges that Attorney has not had a complete and full opportunity to engage in extensive pre-filing advice.” Lawyer Lawrence Engel‘s declaration also says that while he has not had contact with Adams last year or this year – until now – he was consulted by Adams “in the spring of 2011 about various debtor/creditor issues he was experiencing in commercial and business matters.”

We are continuing to research the case and will add any additional information we find. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is explained here, including that “A chapter 11 debtor usually proposes a plan of reorganization to keep its business alive and pay creditors over time.”

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Another ‘unlawful detainer’ action pending for West Seattle Athletic Club http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/another-unlawful-detainer-action-pending-for-west-seattle-athletic-club/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/another-unlawful-detainer-action-pending-for-west-seattle-athletic-club/#comments Mon, 16 Jun 2014 23:28:30 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=276658 By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

For the second time this year, an “unlawful detainer” action is pending against the ownership of West Seattle Athletic Club in North Delridge. That’s the formal term for a legal action that could result in eviction. As reported here in February, the first case was called off on the eve of a court hearing, and the lawyer for the club’s landlord, H-P Properties, told WSB at the time, that was because club ownership “came up with a payment sufficient to reinstate the lease.”

Documents available online showed that case was formally closed in early April. But court records show that a new “unlawful detainer” action was filed one month later, on May 2nd.

A hearing was set for June 4th, then rescheduled for this morning. As we had done on the February hearing date in the previous action, we went to the Regional Justice Center in Kent, where these types of cases go before a court commissioner at whatever time one or both parties show up on the appointed morning. However, the morning ended without anyone appearing on behalf of this case; reached by e-mail later, H-P Properties’ lawyer David Tall told us that the “hearing (was) reset for 6/30 pending payments to be made before such date.”

That was the entirety of his reply, so we don’t know what payments are expected. However, a document filed with the court on June 2nd as a declaration of landlord John Pietromonaco says that when this second “unlawful detainer” complaint was filed May 2nd, “the sum of $244,971.58 was due.” Then, his declaration added a 5% late fee for May rent, also added the June rent of $110,000, and totaled up the bill as $594,516.23.

(The same document shows that the payment made back on February 11th, closing the first case, was $286,000, more than half what the landlord listed as the balance at the time, and shows that $144,493 in payments have subsequently been made, as of June 1st.)

In the past, West Seattle Athletic Club owner Sam Adams has declined comment. But we have called WSAC and asked them to please put us in touch with whomever, whether Adams or another club/company executive, can comment on the current situation. We will add any response we receive.

Adams took over the former West Seattle Allstar Fitness at 2629 SW Andover in March 2013, after its former owner’s bankruptcy case led to the sale of its assets for $75,000.

SIDE NOTE: When we reported the since-closed “unlawful detainer” case in January, we also mentioned a lawsuit that Adams’ clubs had filed against two companies, Allstate Financial Group and Barratt Leasing, accusing them of breach of contract involving billing, among other things. According to court documents, that lawsuit was dismissed “with prejudice” (meaning it cannot be re-filed) in late March.

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Update: West Seattle Athletic Club ‘eviction hearing’ called off, lease ‘reinstated’ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/02/what-happened-when-we-went-to-court-for-the-scheduled-west-seattle-athletic-club-eviction-hearing/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/02/what-happened-when-we-went-to-court-for-the-scheduled-west-seattle-athletic-club-eviction-hearing/#comments Tue, 11 Feb 2014 21:25:03 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=264689 (UPDATED with landlord’s lawyer confirming complaint has been dropped)

ORIGINAL REPORT, 1:25 PM: We’re getting inquiries, so here’s what we can tell you so far:

9 am this morning, West Seattle Athletic Club owner Sam Adams and his landlord H-P Properties were on the schedule at the Regional Justice Center in Kent for what court documents described as an “eviction hearing,” as first reported here last month. We arrived early to cover it. The updated electronic schedule scrolling in the courthouse lobby – something like those status boards at airports – listed Adams’ name and case.

For an hour, we watched King County Superior Court Commissioner Carlos Velategui run through a variety of other cases. After 10 am, the clerk announced morning recess; we asked what had happened to the case, and the clerk told us no one from either side ever checked in. Asked what that means to the case, the clerk said they usually give people a half-hour grace period, but if they don’t show, the case “just falls off the calendar.”

The newest documents in the online court file as of this writing were filed by Adams’ lawyers just yesterday, arguing that the case should be dismissed because the original December 20th eviction notice hadn’t been sent to/posted at the sites required by law. Those documents also reiterated his contention that the delinquent rent payments were ultimately the fault of the two companies he is suing, as also reported in our January story, Allstate Financial Group (which describes itself as providing billing and management services for health clubs) and Barratt Leasing. So what now? We’re trying to reach lawyers for comment, and will also continue to watch the court file.

1:45 PM: Just heard back from the landlord’s lawyer, David Tall. He says West Seattle Athletic Club “came up with a payment sufficient to reinstate the lease,” so this complaint has been dropped.

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