Jul 28, 2014
Partly Cloudy

Walden Pond Partner Has Ties to Company Worth Millions on Paper

One of Paul Beraquit's ventures is a blighted mobile home park. The other lists apparent luxury properties, like hotels and golf courses, among its holdings.

Walden Pond Partner Has Ties to Company Worth Millions on Paper
Paul Beraquit described himself recently as the “person who is in charge” of Walden Pond, LLC, a company that owns a mobile home park that owes the City of New Port Richey more than $155,000.

He is also an apparent partner in Convergent Capital Partners, a Tampa-based real estate private equity firm that on its website touts an investment portfolio worth $370.59 million in unpaid principal balance. Unpaid principal balance is usually defined as the amount of principal owed on a loan.

“Convergent’s investment approach is broad, ranging from direct investments, acquisition of performing / sub-performing debt, development, and the repositioning of assets," according to the website.

The firm lists 53 acquisitions in its portfolio, which includes numerous apparent luxury properties like hotels and golf courses.  The portfolio includes the Hyatt Clearwater Beach in Clearwater, Homewood Suites in Port Richey, Emerald Green Golf and Country Club in Carrollwood. (See the included PDF for full list.) Convergent owns properties from Tamarac north to the Florida-Georgia line.

Last summer, Walden Pond Mobile Home Park fell on hard times. Its owners tried to close the park, but didn't follow legal procedures to remove residents. Some tenants left, but others stayed. Problems plagued the park. The city eventually stepped in, footing the bill to clean up the mess.

The city is now considering recouping some of its costs by placing a lien on the property.

Walden Pond, LLC, now owes the city $155,122.26, according to updated figures from city officials. That figure includes the costs of demolition, cleanup, administrative services and attorney fees. It also includes fines for months of unpaid utility bills. Those fines make up about half of the total money owed at this point.

Beraquit has identified himself as ‘”managing partner“ of Walden Pond.  He said Monday, July 1 that he is one of several owners of Walden Pond but didn’t name the others.

However, he clarified that “I’m the person who is in charge.”

Beraquit also said he is a “small partner” in Convergent Capital.  He is listed as a managing director on the Convergent website. 

He said that Convergent is a separate business from Walden Pond, LLC. Inasmuch, Convergent isn't liable for any of Walden Pond's debts.

Records from Florida’s Division of Corporations show that Paragon Capital Partners is the registered agent for Walden Pond, LLC.  Records show that Santosh Govindaraju is CEO of Paragon.  Beraquit is listed as president.

Govindaraju is listed as CEO of Convergent Capital Partners on its website.

Govindaraju could not be reached for comment.

Pasco County Court records show Govindaraju is a defendant in foreclosure proceedings against Walden Pond, LLC that were filed May 23. Beraquit is not named.

Paragon Capital Partners’ address is listed by the Division of Corporations as 4600 West Cypress St., Suite. 120. Convergent Capital shares the same address.

Also connected to Convergent Capital Partners is Ken McGurn, the Gainesville-based developer behind Main Street Landings, an anchor development on Main Street in New Port Richey that is not complete.  

McGurn is on the board of Convergent. He denied knowledge of any of the issues that Walden Pond has faced.

He said Walden Pond was a business that the partners at Convergent started before Convergent ever existed.

“Convergent, to my knowledge, has nothing to do with Walden Pond,” he said.

See New Port Richey Patch's full coverage of Walden Pond at the following links:
  1. Mobile Home Park Closing Leaves Residents in a Bind
  2. Tenants Upset About Walden Pond's Closing
  3.   FEMA Canvasses Walden Pond
  4. Tenants Oppose Removal from Walden Pond
  5. Residents Continue to Occupy Walden Pond After Closing Deadline 
  6. Pasco Exploring Ways to Help Walden Pond Tenants
  7. Collapsing Trailers Raise Safety Concerns at Walden Pond
  8. City Could Raze Crumbling Trailers at Walden Pond
  9. Walden Pond Owners Given Chance to Clean Up Property
  10. City to Clean Up Walden Pond - New Port Richey, FL Patch
  11. City Moving Forward With Walden Pond Clean Up
  12. Walden Pond Cleanup Starts
  13. Time For Walden Pond to Pay Up?
  14. Lien Hearing Scheduled for Walden Pond
  15. City Opens Door for Negotiations With Walden Pond

Don’t miss updates from Patch!