The Red Rose Inn & Suites is back on the market, listed in mid February for $3.95 million through Florida Executive Commercial Brokers.
LBMT Properties LLC, led by Louis Spiro, of Pinellas Park, purchased the 261-room Red Rose for $1.5 million in late December. Because the Red Rose and 7.8-acre property sat vacant for 18 months, Spiro knew the place needed maintenance before he relisted it.
Since the purchase, he has upgraded parts of the hotel, with the lobby undergoing the most dramatic change, a transformation from the Gone With the Wind motif former owner Evelyn Madonia loved to a more modern look.
"It looks so fresh," said Kiran Patel, president of the firm handling the sale. "What we have here is a substantial asset. The property has the potential to be a great hotel again."
Spiro also has worked to spruce up the parking lot, paint the exterior and add some landscaping. Wire that had been stolen from the banquet room was replaced.
Assets include a full-service restaurant and bar that can seat up to 250 people and a free-standing ballroom that can seat up to 450.
The Red Rose abruptly closed in May 2012. The Madonias' fall captivated the Tampa Bay area, including Spiro. He first heard the story of the Red Rose on the news. It piqued his interest in investing in the forgotten hotel.
An identified bidder had offered $2.1 million for the property at an auction last August. That was $100,000 less than Evelyn and Batista Madonia paid in 2002 — before piling $4 million into renovations.
The bid was rejected because of the financial terms. Then the hotel was put up for sale, and Spiro's offer was the highest.
Patel, who specializes in hotels, said he has had several inquiries about the Red Rose and that interest usually picks up around the one-month mark.
Amber Jurgensen, Plant City Times & Observer