Make us your home page
Instagram

Belleview Biltmore Resort & Spa's roof causes snag

A lien on the Belleview Biltmore Resort & Spa’s deteriorated roof has more than $100,000 in unpaid fines attached to it.

Courtesy of Emanuel Mersis

A lien on the Belleview Biltmore Resort & Spa’s deteriorated roof has more than $100,000 in unpaid fines attached to it.

BELLEAIR — The Belleview Biltmore's dilapidated roof has created a stumbling block for a prospective buyer.

Kawa Capital Management doesn't want a lien tied to fines for the hotel's roof to impede its plans for the hotel's golf course and its Sand Key Cabana Club.

On Monday, in a letter to Belleair's town manager, a lawyer representing Kawa asked Belleair officials to consider lifting the lien, which was filed in November 2009 after the town fined the owner $250 a day for code violations related to the roof.

In return, Tampa lawyer Roger Schwenke's client would create an escrow account with $200,000 to maintain or repair the roof, Schwenke wrote.

But the offer didn't seem to mesh with the discussion Belleair leaders had with Schwenke at last week's town commission work session, Town Manager Micah Maxwell said.

"The commission was talking about forgiving the fees, if, within a period of time, they fixed the roof," Maxwell said.

The unpaid fines have grown to more than $100,000, he said.

It's not clear how the funds in the escrow account would rectify the code violations and guarantee the complete repair of the roof, which by the owner's previous estimates would cost millions of dollars, he said.

Maxwell said he plans to meet with Schwenke to clarify those issues.

If Kawa's offer doesn't guarantee the roof will be fixed, it means the town would lift the lien "and then get nothing," said Mayor Gary Katica.

"I get tired of being treated like we just fell off the back of a turnip truck," Katica said.

Daniel Ades, a director of Kawa, had said he planned to sell the hotel property after buying it. He said his key interest was in upgrading the golf course. Ades and his brother, Raphael, met with town leaders in October to discuss their interest in the hotel's assets.

At the Dec. 7 work session, Schwenke said his client felt that it would be the responsibility of the buyer of the Biltmore to fix the roof. He said he'd like to see if there was a way to modify the lien so it does not encumber anything but the hotel property.

Deputy Mayor Steve Fowler said he didn't like that idea.

"I am not in favor of giving away any of our bargaining chips," he said at the work session.

Katica said he ran into one of the Ades brothers at the hotel golf club the other day and that he told Katica they want to close on the Biltmore on Dec. 29.

Legg Mason Real Estate Investors, now known as Latitude Management Real Estate Investors, bought the hotel in 2007.

The roof has been in disrepair since the summer storms of 2004.

Town commissioners will consider Kawa's request at Tuesday's town meeting.

Lorri Helfand can be reached at lorri@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4155.

Belleview Biltmore Resort & Spa's roof causes snag 12/15/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 7:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  2. New owners take over downtown St. Petersburg's Hofbräuhaus

    Retail

    ST. PETERSBURG — The downtown German beer-hall Hofbräuhaus St. Petersburg has been bought by a partnership led by former Checkers Drive-In Restaurants president Keith Sirois.

    The Hofbrauhaus, St. Petersburg, located in the former historic Tramor Cafeteria, St. Petersburg, is under new ownership.
[SCOTT KEELER  |  TIMES]

  3. Boho Hunter will target fashions in Hyde Park

    Business

    Boho Hunter, a boutique based in Miami's Wynwood District, will expand into Tampa with its very first franchise.

    Palma Canaria bags will be among the featured items at Boho Hunter when it opens in October. Photo courtesy of Boho Hunter.
  4. Gallery now bringing useful art to Hyde Park customers

    Business

    HYDE PARK — In 1998, Mike and Sue Shapiro opened a gallery in St. Petersburg along Central Ave., with a majority of the space dedicated to Sue's clay studio.

     As Sue Shapiro continued to work on her pottery in St. Petersburg, her retail space grew and her studio shrunk. Now Shapiro's is bringing wares like these to Hyde Park Village. Photo courtesy of Shapiro's.
  5. Appointments at Raymond James Bank and Saint Leo University highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers

    Business

    Banking

    Raymond James Bank has hired Grace Jackson to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Jackson will oversee all of Raymond James Bank's operational business elements, risk management and strategic planning functions. Kackson joins Raymond James Bank after senior …

    Raymond James Bank has hired Grace Jackson to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer. [Company handout]