SETTLEMENT: Paul Galloway Gets a Lighthouse
By GEORGE SOUTHERN
Cape Charles Wave
January 13, 2014
Anyone want to buy a lighthouse? There’s a dandy one in Bay Creek, and it just might become available at the right price.
Bay Creek LLC had the lighthouse built in 2004 as an exact replica of the Old Plantation Flats Lighthouse that until 1962 stood two miles offshore in the Chesapeake Bay. The replica rises from a lake at the perimeter of the Bayside Village development.
As part of a tentative settlement agreement, Bay Creek LLC is giving Galloway Corporation, owned by Paul Galloway, the lighthouse along with a cash payment of $450,000. The settlement agreements were made available by Bay Creek attorney Jeff Hunn after the Wave published a letter to Bay Creek property owners (click to read) from their Community Association regarding a tentative settlement on their behalf in a lawsuit brought by Galloway and others against Bay Creek LLC.
The settlement terms were not fully revealed in the letter, causing a number of Bay Creek property owners to be concerned that they could lose any future legal right to bring grievances against the Association management.
The settlement letter only stated that Galloway and his associates had agreed to pay their back Association dues. There was no mention of any benefit to Galloway, causing property owners to press for more details. When it became apparent that a number of homeowners would object to the settlement, Bay Creek’s attorney released details of the “global” settlement.
In addition to the $450,000 cash and the lighthouse coming to Galloway from Bay Creek LLC, the settlement also awards him the balance of excess proceeds from the December 2012 foreclosure sale of Aqua Restaurant, Bay Creek Marina, and related properties, which were sold to Robert Occhifinto for $4.6 million. The bank got $3.3 million, leaving $1.3 million (minus fees). Under the settlement, $260,000 will go toward infrastructure improvements in Marina Village East, $50,000 goes to Bay Creek LLC, and the rest goes to Galloway — which should be a little under $1 million.
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Reached by the Wave, Galloway was reluctant to say before the settlement is finalized what he might do with the lighthouse. The settlement requires him to maintain the exterior of the lighthouse in good repair and to adhere to the existing color scheme. There’s nothing that says he (or anyone he sells it to) can’t redecorate the interior, move in a SubZero refrigerator, Viking range, and Tempurpedic bed, and set up housekeeping.
When the replica was built it was intended to showcase a piece of history. The interior is furnished as it would have been in the early days of the original lighthouse, and was often left open for visitors to wander through. Due to vandalism, the lighthouse is now locked except for pre-arranged tours, but any visitor can still peer through the windows.
The lighthouse features a replica “fourth-order” lens along with a cast-iron pedestal designed by Artworks Florida. Other features true to the original include a redwood cistern for collecting water off the roof, a coal stove, and a fog bell and striking mechanism.
According to the website Lighthousefriends.com, “the project manager for constructing the lighthouse was given an unlimited budget, but when the work was done, he was informed that he had exceeded it.”
Northampton County tax records show the lighthouse assessed at $215,00 for the structure and $125,000 for the land, for a total of $340,000. That’s a modest price for a waterfront view situated directly next to a million-dollar beach house.
Although the replica lighthouse was not built to be a residence, the original lighthouse certainly was. And Lighthousefriends.com reports that one of the last “Coasties” to serve at Old Plantation Flats, Reggie Dyckman, maintained that it was the favorite post of his Coast Guard career.
A half-size model of the lighthouse also rises from a covered bridge on Bay Creek’s Jack Nicklaus golf course, but that one is not for sale.
Click here to read the “global” settlement that includes the lighthouse.