Friday, June 22, 2018
Business

Best Western Bay Harbor and Hulk Hogan res­tau­rant sold for $34.5M

TAMPA — A local real estate investor confirmed Tuesday that he has closed on the sale of the 261-room Best Western Bay Harbor hotel at Rocky Point that includes the Hulk Hogan-themed restaurant called Hogan's Beach for $34.5 million.

Ben Mallah said the sale to the Chicago-based Oxford Capital Group closed late Monday. The new owners did not respond to a request seeking comment.

The sale is the latest chapter for a piece of property with a rich and sometimes tragic history. The hotel was built in 1974 and was once owned by the late George Steinbrenner, owner of the New York Yankees.

On Dec. 30, 1999, an employee for what was then the Radisson Bay Harbor Hotel at Rocky Point went on a shooting rampage that left four co-workers dead and three wounded. The shooter killed a fifth victim during a carjacking as he fled.

In 2007, Clearwater developer Sandip Patel negotiated to bring Tampa's first five-star hotel to the property, a Ritz-Carlton. But that project fell through.

Mallah said the new owners have plans for major renovations. For now, the hotel is still operating under the Bay Harbor name. But the Hogan's Beach sign visible from the Courtney Campbell Causeway has been removed.

Mallah, who spent $5 million renovating the hotel after his purchase in 2012 for $15 million, said Oxford operates high-end "boutique" hotels.

The sale officially ends Hulk Hogan's association with the property. Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, has suffered a series of blows to his reputation. He apologized earlier this year after a video transcript surfaced showing him making a racist rant. Bollea licensed his name to the restaurant but did not have an ownership interest, Mallah said.

Speculation in the wrestling world suggested Bollea's public woes had something to do with the decision to sell. But Mallah said that was not the case.

"Basically everything with us is timing," Mallah said. "We buy assets and fix them up. The market is high right now. Tampa's hot … Hogan had nothing to do with it. He was fine. Ultimately, we're in the real estate business, not in the restaurant business."

Oxford boasts that the company and its affiliates have been involved in about $2.5 billion of real estate and private equity transactions, which include 12,000 hotel rooms.

Contact William R. Levesque at [email protected] Follow @Times_Levesque.

Comments
Tampa Bay workforce development initiative looks to Houston for lessons

Tampa Bay workforce development initiative looks to Houston for lessons

The biggest hospitals in Houston had a problem.To earn a prized institutional certification, they needed more nurses with bachelor of science degrees in nursing.But local colleges were more focused on turning out nurses with two-year degrees who, to ...
Published: 06/22/18
Health care IT company CareSync shuts down, laying off 292

Health care IT company CareSync shuts down, laying off 292

TAMPA — The days ahead were supposed to be bright.For weeks, the future of health care tech company CareSync had been thrown into question as founder and CEO and founder Travis Bond unexpectedly departed, kicking off multiple rounds of layoffs. But t...
Published: 06/22/18
Coal and gas hold onto their share of electricity production, despite massive push for renewables

Coal and gas hold onto their share of electricity production, despite massive push for renewables

Here’s an intriguing set of facts: Coal produces the same percentage of the world’s electricity as 20 years ago. Oil and gas remain about level, too.Same for nonfossil fuel sources. In other words, the massive push towards renewables over the past co...
Published: 06/22/18
Brink: Why have Florida’s working-age men left the labor market in droves

Brink: Why have Florida’s working-age men left the labor market in droves

A cancer lurks within Florida’s otherwise rosy job numbers, one that’s been called a quiet catastrophe and an intractable time bomb.Too many men between the ages of 25 and 54 have stopped working.Economists call those the prime-age years. Incomes gen...
Published: 06/22/18
Pride divided no more: St. Pete Pride comes back together

Pride divided no more: St. Pete Pride comes back together

ST. PETERSBURG — The 16th annual St. Pete Pride Parade is getting ready to march along the downtown waterfront the second straight year. But many hope to move past the division caused last year when the parade was uprooted from its original hom...
Published: 06/22/18
For sale: A Tampa Bay area elementary school where you can eat tacos and buy wine

For sale: A Tampa Bay area elementary school where you can eat tacos and buy wine

ST. PETERSBURG — For sale: a 104-year-old elementary school with restaurant and wine shop. It even has a title company where you can close the deal.Less than a year after completing a major renovation of the historic North Ward school, developer Jona...
Published: 06/22/18
Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

TAMPA — When the 2008 financial crash brought down the nation’s housing market, hundreds of home builders went out of business. Among them was Sharon McSwain Homes in Atlanta, forced to liquidate in 2009.But just as developers like to develop, builde...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18
Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

TAMPA — Two of the city’s hottest developers — the companies behind Ulele and the Armature Works — are heading to court over control of an old city building that sits between the hit eateries. Both want to redevelop the city&...
Published: 06/21/18
Orlando airport first to scan faces of U.S. citizens on international flights

Orlando airport first to scan faces of U.S. citizens on international flights

Associated PressFlorida’s busiest airport is becoming the first in the nation to require a face scan of passengers on all arriving and departing international flights, including U.S. citizens, according to officials there. The expected announcement T...
Published: 06/21/18
Saboteur or whistleblower? Battle between Elon Musk and former Tesla employee turns ugly, exposing internal rancor

Saboteur or whistleblower? Battle between Elon Musk and former Tesla employee turns ugly, exposing internal rancor

Hours after Tesla had sued its former employee on charges he had stolen company secrets, and days after chief Elon Musk had called him a saboteur, the Silicon Valley automaker made a startling claim. The company had received a call from a friend of t...
Published: 06/21/18