Make us your home page

Dealmakers: Glitches won't stop luxury hotel

ST. PETERSBURG — A foreclosure lawsuit will have no effect on a construction project slated to bring a 22-story luxury hotel to downtown, those associated with the undertaking say.

Businessman Daniel M. Harvey Jr., who owns Harvey's 4th Street Grill and has developed several Checkers restaurants, says the legal problems involving two of three pieces of property on which the hotel will be built are being remedied. He blamed the problem on the current credit crunch.

"This financial blip will be taken care of in the next week. My intentions are to roll the property into the development free and clear,'' he said.

As Harvey straightens out the legal issues, the project must clear another hurdle. The hotel planned for the 100 block of Fourth Avenue NE will displace two historic buildings. The developer and preservationists are discussing the issue.

Punit R. Shah, president of the Liberty Group, which is buying the site from Harvey for the four-star hotel, said the project is proceeding as planned. "Basically, we're working on construction drawings and permitting at this time,'' said Shah, whose company opened a new Holiday Inn at Busch Gardens last week.

Shah said current economic conditions will not delay construction.

"There's still a great demand in the downtown St. Petersburg area for a luxury hotel product,'' he said.

"St. Petersburg, with the surprise of the World Series, is going to understand the real demand for hotel rooms downtown. I literally have friends coming in from all around the country for the World Series, and they're having to stay in Sarasota and north Clearwater Beach just because they can't find a room, and that greatly affects the amount of money coming to local businesses. That's why we're so excited about the project.''

He said the green hotel, with 252 rooms and suites, would boast a "global brand'' name. Plans call for 14,000 square feet of meeting space, a 290-vehicle parking garage and a high-end restaurant and coffee shop on the ground floor.

The 1.1 acres on which the hotel is to rise includes the historic Henry-Bryan and Bay Gables houses. Liberty Group wants to move the Henry-Bryan house to the Historic Old Northeast and demolish or give away the Bay Gables to anyone willing to cart it away. Shah said the firm's engineers have determined that Bay Gables, which houses the Chateau France restaurant, cannot be moved.

Preservationists would like to see both buildings saved. "Right now, we're bringing in experts to look at Bay Gables, in particular, to make a determination on whether or not that building can be saved,'' said Will Michaels, president of St. Petersburg Preservation.

"If the building cannot be saved, then we think that there should be a significant mitigation made for the harm this is causing city landmarks and historic resources on Fourth Avenue NE, as provided for in the land development regulations.''

The hotel is a great project, Michaels said, and members of his group are trying to find "the right balance between development and historic preservation.''

The deal to buy the property from Harvey is "subject to the approvals of the relocation and demolition'' of the historic buildings, Shah said.

The Oct. 9 lawsuit filed by BB&T said Harvey owes about $1-million, plus fees and other charges, on the property's mortgage. During an interview Monday, Harvey said he recently made a $450,000 payment and that the remaining sum would be financed by a local bank. BB&T did not want to renegotiate the loan, he said.

"I paid on time for six years. This type of loan doesn't meet their criteria anymore. Banks have made it so hard to borrow money,'' he said.

Shah said Liberty Group hopes to begin construction next year and complete the hotel in the winter of 2010.

Waveney Ann Moore can be reached at


Homes' history

Henry-Bryan house, 146 Fourth Ave. NE, built in 1912; Queen Anne Cottage style. Designated a local historic landmark in 1994.

Bay Gables house, now the Chateau France restaurant, 136 Fourth Ave. NE. Built in 1910, it is a Vernacular style home, with Queen Anne and Colonial Revival elements. Designated a local historic landmark in 1994.

Dealmakers: Glitches won't stop luxury hotel 10/21/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 21, 2008 4:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lost Highway: As FHP struggles to recruit, speeding tickets plummet

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The number of speeding tickets written by Florida state troopers has plunged three straight years as the agency grapples with a personnel shortage and high turnover.

    A Florida Highway Patrol Academy class in the late 1980s. Typically, graduating classes had about 80 recruits. But the most recent class has less than half that as the agency continues to struggle to fill vacancies. [

Florida: Highway Patrol]
  2. Kidpreneurs — and adults — capitalize on gooey, squishy Slime craze


    First it was Play-Doh. Then Gak. There have been dozens of variations for sale of the oozy, gooey, squishable, stretchable kids' toy through the generations.

    Aletheia Venator and Berlyn Perdomo demonstrate the stretchiness of their slime. - Berlyn Perdomo and her friend, Aletheia Venator, both 13, make and sell slime which can be seen on their instagram site @the.real.slimeshadyy [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
  3. The last farmer of Florida's prized Zellwood corn is thinking of packing it in


    MOUNT DORA — Hank Scott steps out of his pickup between the long rows and snaps off an ear that grows about bellybutton-high on the forehead-high stalks.

    Hank Scott, co-owner of Long and Scott Farms, shucks an ear of corn on the farm in Mount Dora, Fla., on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. The farm specializes in Scott's Zellwood Triple-Sweet Gourmet Corn. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  4. Law firm's Russia ties prove nothing about Trump


    The statement

    "Law firm @POTUS used to show he has no ties to Russia was named Russia Law Firm of the Year for their extensive ties to Russia. Unreal."

    Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., stands during a media availability on Capitol Hill, Monday, June 20, 2016 in Washington. A divided Senate blocked rival election-year plans to curb guns on Monday, eight days after the horror of Orlando's mass shooting intensified pressure on lawmakers to act but knotted them in gridlock anyway — even over restricting firearms for terrorists. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  5. Pasco county lawyer disbarred for taking woman's money

    Real Estate

    NEW PORT RICHEY — The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday disbarred Pasco County attorney and former congressional candidate Constantine Kalogianis.

    The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday disbarred Pasco County attorney and former congressional candidate Constantine Kalogianis. 
[2016 booking photo via Pasco County Sheriff's Office]