BELLEAIR — A group of Miami investors is interested in buying the Belleview Biltmore, but they're not sure what they want to do with the hotel or if they can preserve the whole historic structure.
Last week, Daniel Ades and his brother, Raphael, flew to town to find out how the hotel property could be developed and what the community would allow.
Ades' team is chiefly interested in buying and upgrading the Biltmore's 136-acre golf course on Indian Rocks Road and is looking for a partner interested in the hotel property.
"We're really trying to talk to as many people we can," said Ades, 30, principal of KAWA Capital Management, an asset management firm. "Anyone that has any interest in the hotel we want to talk to them."
The group even had talks with Church of Scientology representatives, who toured the property with engineers, he said.
"We spoke to them and they have no interest in doing anything with the hotel," Ades said.
Ades would not discuss details of a possible deal, but said his team is at looking to buy the mortgage and eventually the property owned by Latitude Management Real Estate Investors.
The mortgage is held by former owner Urdang & Associates. Three years ago, Latitude Management, formerly known as Legg Mason Real Estate Investors, bought the property for $30.3 million.
The hotel's assets also include the Cabana Club on Sand Key. The group plans to maintain the Biltmore's golf course, but wants to upgrade its clubhouse and restaurant, Ades said.
Last Thursday, Ades and his brother asked the mayor and town manager about options for the hotel property, including an assisted living facility, a museum and low-density housing. They're open to finding a partner who wants to preserve the hotel, but Ades acknowledged that parts may need to be demolished.
Rae Claire Johnson, head of the Friends of the Belleview Biltmore, said she met with one of Ades' partners Monday and he seemed "amenable" to working with her group to try to save the Biltmore.
Town Manager Micah Maxwell said the men mentioned a contract and said they had 10 days to complete their due diligence.
Mayor Gary Katica plans to talk about the investors' inquiry at tonight's town meeting (7:30 p.m. at the Town Hall, 901 Ponce de Leon Blvd.).
Times researcher Natalie Watson contributed to this report.