ABOVE: The crowd gathers for a concert at Parliament House during Gay Days 2018. (Photo by Layla Ferris)
ORLANDO | Parliament House, Orlando’s longest running LGBTQ club and resort, will not be going up for auction at the end of the month. This according to Parliament House owner Don Granatstein.
Rumors that the more than four decades old LGBTQ resort was up for auction on Feb. 25 started to rise when court documents on the Orange County Clerk of Courts website stating as much began to circulate at the beginning of the year.
According to those court records, Lion Financial filed a judgment of foreclosure on Dec. 3 against Parliament Partners and its investors, as well as Granatstein, co-owner Susan Unger and two undisclosed individuals named in the judgment as John Doe and Jane Doe. The final judgment of foreclosure is in the amount of $4.7 million with the Parliament House, located at 410 N. Orange Blossom Trail, listed as the property address. According to the documents, the property’s assessed value is listed at just under $3.4 million.
Judge Lisa T. Munyon of the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida granted Lion Financial’s motion for unpaid principal on the mortgage in the amount of $3.9 million as well as on interest and late fees in the amount of $806,341. The court ordered a lien on the property and, per the judgment, Parliament House is to be auctioned off on Feb. 25 at 11 a.m.
Granatstein says that while the Orange County Clerk of Courts does show the Parliament House going up for auction at the end of the month, it is only a formality and that a refinancing agreement is being worked on that will be completed before the Feb. 25 auction date. Granatstein says that Lion Financial, the plaintiff in the court judgment, is aware of the refinancing agreement.
“The foreclosure action is brought by Lion Financial. We have been dealing with them for many years on a very friendly basis,” Granatstein says. “Once mortgages are due they prefer to be landlords rather than mortgage holders. They did the exact same thing with The Gardens and we end up leasing with an option to buy back at same amount as mortgage.”
In the deal Granatstein is talking about, Parliament House sold off five acres of land, which included The Gardens, to Lion Financial in 2017 to settle unresolved debts. Lion Financial is the same institution that holds Parliament House’s mortgage.
“We are days away from finishing a refinancing that will pay off all mortgages, allow us to renovate the Parliament House and build out The Gardens,” Granatstein says.
Rumors that Granatstein and Unger, who purchased Parliament House in 1999, were going to lose the resort spread in 2015 when similar court documents circulated on social media. Those documents, according to the resort’s bankruptcy attorney at the time, were part of the process of fulfilling Parliament House’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy agreement.
The Orange County Clerk of Courts office verified with Watermark that even with a judgment of foreclosure that doesn’t necessarily mean the property will go up for auction, noting that a bankruptcy or refinancing agreement could prevent the property from being auctioned.
Watermark reached out to the attorney’s for Lion Financial for comment but have not hear back as of press time.
The iconic LGBTQ nightclub, resort and entertainment complex will celebrate its 45th anniversary this year as a community hotspot, something Granatstein insists will continue for years to come.
“[Parliament House] will be here forever,” he says.