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Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014
Business News

Major hotelier may now own Treasure Island site

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TAMPA - A limited liability company formed in Delaware, Treas Island LLC, has purchased for $6 million a prominent waterfront site on Treasure Island where the old Buccaneer Motel once stood.

Its deed filed in Pinellas County shows that Treas Island shares an address with one of America's biggest private hotel companies, Ocean Properties Ltd. & Affiliates, which has aggressive development plans along Florida's West Coast. An attorney for Treas Island declined to say whether Ocean Properties is behind the LLC, and a spokesman for Ocean Properties did not return calls.

If Ocean Properties is the new owner, it would continue its strong local push. Already, it has been planning a 230-room luxury hotel on Clearwater Beach, and in Sarasota County it picked up the massive Resort at Longboat Key Club last year. The company couldn't do anything so grand at the Treasure Island site, which is just 1.6 acres and is authorized for fewer rooms.

Treas Island LLC picked up the former Buccaneer Motel site, at 10800 Gulf Blvd., from a Washington state bank that had foreclosed on it, said Sean Lance, managing director of the real estate brokerage NAI Tampa Bay. The company behind the LLC apparently values its privacy. Lance didn't know who controls the LLC, and its Boynton Beach attorney, Ken Kaleel, said he couldn't share that information.

However, the Portsmouth, N.H., address that Treas Island lists in its deed is a corporate office of international hotelier Ocean Properties, which also has a corporate office in Delray Beach.

Michelle Orton, Treasure Island's interim community improvement director, said the developer could build 15 multifamily housing units on the property. Or, if it chooses to build a hotel, it could build up to 50 units an acre.

"We're still waiting to see what they're planning to do with that property," Orton said.

Controlled by the family of founder Thomas Walsh, Ocean Properties owns 107 hotels in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.

It bought a major stake in Clearwater Beach's Sandpearl Resort in 2010 and has filed paperwork to build a 15-story luxury hotel at the site of the former Adam's Mark hotel on Clearwater Beach.

The company also may develop something at the old Holiday Inn site near the Sand Key bridge, but that project is not far along, said Ed Armstrong, an attorney working on Ocean Properties' Clearwater holdings. Ocean Properties already owns a Residence Inn by Marriott on Treasure Island.

msasso@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7865

Twitter: @msasso

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