Friday, May 25, 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
Five members of 69ers motorcycle gang indicted on federal charges

Five members of 69ers motorcycle gang indicted on federal charges

Last year three members of the 69ers Motorcycle Club gang were implicated in the execution of a rival gang leader in the middle of rush hour traffic in Pasco County.Now those three and two other 69ers members have been indicted on federal charges tha...
Published: 05/25/18
With makeover, ZooTampa at Lowry Park takes a page from the theme parks

With makeover, ZooTampa at Lowry Park takes a page from the theme parks

TAMPA — Behind the construction walls near the carousel at ZooTampa at Lowry Park, hammers, saws and power drills made a racket in the blazing Friday heat. A raft full of 100-pound water jugs took test trips on the new Roaring Springs ride set ...
Published: 05/25/18
U.S. news outlets block European readers over new privacy rules

U.S. news outlets block European readers over new privacy rules

LONDON ó U.S. news outlets including The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The Orlando Sentinel and The Arizona Daily Star abruptly blocked access to their websites from Europe on Friday, choosing to black out readers rather than comply with a ...
Published: 05/25/18
Tampa Electric appeals OSHA findings for October accident

Tampa Electric appeals OSHA findings for October accident

TAMPA ó Tampa Electric Co. is appealing a recent citation by federal regulators. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration hit the utility with a $76,050 fine and a "serious" violation in April following its investigation into an accident in ...
Published: 05/25/18
Fiat Chrysler recalls 4.8 million cars, warning owners: Donít use the cruise control

Fiat Chrysler recalls 4.8 million cars, warning owners: Donít use the cruise control

Associated PressDETROIT ó Fiat Chrysler is recalling 4.8 million vehicles in the U.S. because in rare but terrifying circumstances, drivers may not be able to turn off the cruise control. The company is warning owners not to use cruise control until...
Published: 05/25/18
Federal Reserve chairman warns his agency must be free from political pressure

Federal Reserve chairman warns his agency must be free from political pressure

Associated PressFederal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned Friday that the Fedís independence from political pressure must be respected if it is to succeed in controlling inflation, maximizing employment and regulating the financial system. His re...
Published: 05/25/18
Restaurants like Ford’s Garage use the experience to get you in the door

Restaurants like Ford’s Garage use the experience to get you in the door

Tim Butler’s first car was a Ford Model A pick-up truck — a pearl fawn and cherry red pick-up he got his senior year in high school from his dad, who renovates antique cars. That’s why as Butler waited for a table at the Ford’...
Published: 05/25/18
St. Petersburg man fined $507,513 in penny stock scheme

St. Petersburg man fined $507,513 in penny stock scheme

TAMPA ó A St. Petersburg man was fined $507,513 and permanently barred from participating in the offering of a penny stock in a case involving a scheme to manipulate the price of Aureus, a penny stock company incorporated in Nevada, officials said Fr...
Published: 05/25/18
Broadcomís CEO tops highest-paid list with a $103 million payout

Broadcomís CEO tops highest-paid list with a $103 million payout

Times staff and wiresNEW YORK ó Chief executives at the biggest public companies got an 8.5 percent raise last year, bringing the median pay package for CEOs to $11.7 million. Across the S&P 500, compensation for CEOs is often hundreds of times highe...
Published: 05/25/18
Denis Phillips, hurricane season guru, talks his signature beer, suspenders and Rule #7

Denis Phillips, hurricane season guru, talks his signature beer, suspenders and Rule #7

SAFETY HARBOR ó Denis Phillips cracks a pop-top and pulls a can that looks a lot like him to his lips."Itís got that citrusy feel to it," he says. "Which is a Florida thing. Thatís not bad." Indeed, thereís a grapefruit finish to Rule #7 Hurricane Sa...
Published: 05/25/18