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Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

Brasota Mortgage now controls Tidemark destiny

Island Middle School Board President Genie Salter and IMS parent/former board member Scott Bassett are coBrasota Mortgage Inc. of Sarasota and Bradenton has purchased the first mortgage on the Tidemark property in Holmes Beach from Regions Bank of Florida, essentially assuming control over the future of the embattled hotel/condominium/marina project.

According to available online records, Brasota paid $1.6 million to Regions Bank for the mortgage. Regions Bank had foreclosed on its first mortgage to Tidemark for $1.45 million in December, but interest on the loan had driven the total foreclosure up to $1.7 million.

Brasota already held a second mortgage on the property of $1.7 million and the purchase gives it a $3.3 million stake in Tidemark Partners LLC, which filed for bankruptcy in January.

The move would appear to block any effort by Dallas-based EFO Holdings and its financial company, Cypress Lending Group of Naples, to become first mortgage holder through a $3.9 million refinance bid that still needed the blessing of the bankruptcy court.

Attorney Peter Mackey, representing Brasota, said a refinancing agreement being worked out with Tidemark managing partner Nick Easterling - if approved by the bankruptcy court and creditors - would allow construction on the project to begin in the near future.

Easterling said he has talked with Brasota representatives, but said he could not comment on specifics of the proposal at this time.

"Obviously, Brasota had been with us from the beginning, so I certainly wanted to hear what they had to say," Easterling noted.

While Tidemark may have had difficulty starting construction of its 40-unit, $20 million project that was approved by the Holmes Beach City Commission in August 2001, it appears Brasota Mortgage is ready to step in with the necessary financing to complete the project.

Tidemark lawyers have withdrawn a request in bankruptcy court to obtain credit from Cypress Lending and have obtained an extension of the deadline to file financial statements.

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