Madonia Family in Bankruptcy; Tomato Farms, Land for Sale

Brokerage sign for Madonia property for sale in Oyster. (Wave photo)

Brokerage sign for Madonia property for sale in Oyster. (Wave photo)


May 25, 2013

Batista Madonia and his family, owners of extensive local properties, have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Assets of the family-owned East Coast Brokers and Packers are being offered for sale by sealed bid.

The Madonia family owns property in Virginia and Florida including farms, packing houses, labor camps, a luxury hotel, and a former Bible college.

According to the Packer, an industry newsletter, court records show the Madonias owe more than $15 million in liens and judgments to state and federal governments and crop production services. There also is a $5.6 million lien from Chicago wholesaler Anthony Marano Co.

“After two years of freezes on its Florida farms, a hurricane on its Virginia farms in 2011, and years of challenges resulting from years of cheap imports, a Chapter 11 filing was needed to provide the Madonia family an opportunity to sell assets in an organized fashion,” said Ken Nofziger of Murray Wise Associates, the real estate firm conducting the sales.

“This process will provide enough liquidity to satisfy creditors and allow the Madonia family to reorganize and carry on its operations,” Nofziger said.

Properties for sale in Northampton and Accomack counties include 13 farms totaling 3,000 acres, four packing houses, seven labor camps, and several homes.

Northampton County tax rolls list 26 properties owned by the Madonia family, including three homes in Bay Creek.


Before the real estate bubble burst, the Madonias bought Magnolia Plantation in Bay Creek’s Plantation Pointe for $2.3 million.

Two other homes purchased by the family are located in Bay Creek’s Heron Pointe. Batista Madonia Sr. paid $2.6 million for Verandah Bay, which had  been owned by Bay Creek developer Dickie Foster. Batista Madonia Jr. purchased Hawkstone Hall for $2.25 million.

It is not known whether the Bay Creek properties are for sale. The Murray Wise brokerage firm has not yet released specifics on all Madonia properties for sale, although some signs have been posted in and near Oyster.

Northampton County’s website shows Batista and Evelyn Madonia owing $31,000 in delinquent property taxes — the largest delinquency in the county.

The Madonia farms on the Eastern Shore have lain fallow for the last two years, affecting 2,000 workers.

Florida holdings include 7,000 acres of farm and development land, two packing houses, a former Bible college, and several labor camps.

The Red Rose Hotel in Plant City, FL, along with luxury condominiums in Naples and Stuart, as well as other houses and properties not directly related to the tomato business are also for sale.

Bids are also being accepted on commercial and residential buildings in Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, including warehouse and cold storage facilities, industrial and residential lots, and several luxury homes.

Batista Madonia Sr., president and chief executive officer, and his wife Evelyn Madonia, founded the company in 1956.



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