Tuesday, May 22, 2018
News Roundup

Buyers plan to renovate, reopen foreclosed ALF in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — Palazzo Di Oro, an assisted living facility that closed suddenly two years ago amid financial problems, has been sold.

The new owners, who bought the property for $2 million, plan to reopen the facility under the name Grand Villa of St. Petersburg in about 18 months. Before then, extensive renovations are planned for the property at 3600 34th St. S.

City Council member Steve Kornell, who represents the area, welcomed the news. It will be good to see the neglected property revitalized, he said.

The announcement also is good news for evolving efforts to transform 34th Street S.

"It's an amazing stretch of the city and we're not getting the commercial development that we had hoped for," Kornell said, emphasizing that he has no complaints about a new ALF on the busy corridor.

"I hope whoever is coming in operates it in a high-quality manner," he said.

"We have been an operator in this area for 25 years and have felt that that area of St. Petersburg had an underserved need," said Alex Lopez, director of sales and management for Senior Management Advisors, one of the new owners.

"We like the location because of its proximity to some really good neighborhoods down there. It's very accessible, very visible for the community. It's a very nice campus. It has a potential to be a beautiful property."

The new facility, which will offer assisted living and memory care services, was bought by Senior Management Advisors of Clearwater and ValStone Partners, a private equity investment firm with offices in Birmingham, Mich., and Baltimore. Senior Management Advisors, which operates independent living, assisted living and Alzheimer's care communities in Florida and Georgia, is the owner of Grand Villa of Largo.

Lopez said the new owners anticipate spending more than $3 million to renovate the property across the street from historic St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church. Plans call for remodeling the first floor to include an Internet cafe, library, billiards parlor, beauty salon, barbershop and private dining room, along with large lounges and activity rooms.

Residents' rooms will be updated and will include kitchenettes with built-in refrigerators, microwaves, large closets and private baths with safety features. Bedrooms and bathrooms will have emergency alert call systems. Exterior upgrades are promised. The building will have approximately 150 units, with about 30 in a separate Alzheimer's and dementia care area, Lopez said.

The new ALF will hire about 50 people.

"We are already trying to recruit for some of the executive positions," Lopez said.

Built in 1971, the property has been occupied by hotels, a retirement community and most recently by Palazzo Di Oro, which went into foreclosure in 2011.

Early that year, the 78 or so elderly residents and their families got the stunning news that Palazzo Di Oro's operator, Senior Care Group of Tampa, had decided to shut the facility.

The property's new owners can be counted on, Lopez said.

"We have three generations of a family-owned, highly successful business, with 50 years of doing this. We've got a pretty good batting average," he said.

"I think our experience and our current position certainly as one of Florida's leading operators should provide some comfort that we are going to be there to stay. We are committed to the project."

Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Waveney Ann Moore can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 892-2283.

Comments
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Lightning squanders chance to close out Capitals

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Lightning squanders chance to close out Capitals

The Lightning misses an opportunity to close out the Capitals in Washington, so there will be a Game 7 in Tampa on Wednesday night with a berth in the Stanley Cup final on the line.Andrei Vasilevskiy was fantastic, but the Lightning couldn't match th...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Investigators insist MH370 crash was an accident, not a mass murder-suicide by pilot

Investigators insist MH370 crash was an accident, not a mass murder-suicide by pilot

A despondent Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, troubled over the end of his marriage or some other unbearable sadness, was the only person awake on the doomed plane full of unconscious people, one theory goes. The suicidal pilot disabled communications on Ma...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Did ex-girlfriend’s Facebook post leak suspension of FSU starter Josh Ball?

Did ex-girlfriend’s Facebook post leak suspension of FSU starter Josh Ball?

A Florida State student from Lithia wrote a Facebook post Monday afternoon alleging the suspension of Seminoles starting offensive tackle Josh Ball.Little else was known a day later, but the details in the since-deleted post are consistent ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa police officers to wear pins noting military service

Tampa police officers to wear pins noting military service

TAMPA — When Tampa police Capt. Calvin Johnson responds to calls, his time in the Army rarely comes up. When it does, people ask him what war he was in, his length of service and where he was stationed.The conversation, Johnson said, changes how peop...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Here’s why there are so many coyotes and why they are spreading so fast

Here’s why there are so many coyotes and why they are spreading so fast

For eons, coyotes roamed what is now the western United States, with its wide-open plains. Then came European settlers, who cut down forests for farms and ranches in a steady east-west march. Along the way, they killed large predators such as pumas a...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida’s python hunt bags 1,000th snake

Florida’s python hunt bags 1,000th snake

HOMESTEAD — Florida is marking a milestone in its attempt to control an infestation of Burmese pythons in the Everglades. The state has been paying a select group of 25 hunters to catch and kill the invasive snakes on state lands in South Florida si...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Pasco delays take-back of SunWest Park

Pasco delays take-back of SunWest Park

NEW PORT RICHEY – The publicly owned SunWest Park is still in private hands.At least for now.On Tuesday, Pasco County commissioners delayed voting on a plan to take over operations of the publicly owned lakefront park near Aripeka that would have all...
Updated: 1 hour ago
A fake ‘Zombie Outbreak’ alert alarms Lake Worth residents

A fake ‘Zombie Outbreak’ alert alarms Lake Worth residents

Folks around the Lake Worth area were warned of a zombie outbreak early Sunday morning.The alert, issued at 1:41 a.m., was meant to inform residents about a power outage but had been changed to reference the popular AMC television series The Walking ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
FedEx driver, 22, dies in crash on Interstate 4

FedEx driver, 22, dies in crash on Interstate 4

TAMPA — A 22-year-old FedEx driver died Tuesday after a tire blew out on his freight truck on Interstate 4 east of Tampa, sending it into a collision path with a Chevrolet Volt, state troopers said. Two teen girls in the Volt survived the 10:21 a.m. ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Jason Pierre-Paul, Brent Grimes absent as Bucs open OTA practices

Jason Pierre-Paul, Brent Grimes absent as Bucs open OTA practices

The Bucs started another chapter of their offseason Tuesday with the first OTA (organized team activity) practice at One Buc Place, with veterans Jason Pierre-Paul and Brent Grimes as the only healthy players absent from what is officially a voluntar...
Updated: 2 hours ago