PLANT CITY — The Red Rose Inn & Suites, once a favorite for business meetings, parties and weddings, will hit the auction block along with scores of other Madonia-family holdings during a series of auctions in late June and early July.
Owners Evelyn and Batista Madonia Sr. are shedding assets in Virginia and Florida, including the 261-room hotel at Interstate 4 and N Wheeler Street, which closed last year, to clear an estimated $75 million of debt after filing for bankruptcy protection in March.
The Red Rose is part of a package of Florida properties owned by the Madonias and their companies that also includes luxury homes in Naples and Stuart.
Other parcels include 7,000 acres of farmland in Hillsborough, Manatee, Polk and Martin counties; two packing houses; a former Bible college last used as farm worker housing and 3,000 acres in Virginia. Scores of commercial and residential buildings in Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania are being offered as well.
The Madonias retained Murray Wise Associates, based in Champaign, Ill., to coordinate the auction. The company says it expects to generate strong interest based on the variety of properties for sale.
"There's a wide gamut of properties from the opulent Red Rose to labor camps," said Carl Carter, a Murray Wise agent.
The company is working with Crosby and Associates, based in Winter Haven. The sale will be handled through a sealed-bid process.
"Everything will be done under the supervision of the bankruptcy court," Carter said.
Scott A. Stichter, an attorney for the Madonias, said the family expects to submit its reorganization plan to the court by June 6.
"This case is moving fairly quickly," he said.
The Madonias filed for bankruptcy protection after several freezes and a hurricane at the family's Virginia farms devastated crops.
"This process will provide enough liquidity to satisfy creditors and allow the Madonia family to reorganize and carry on its operations," Murray Wise's president, Ken Nofziger, said in a statement.
Bids for the package that includes the Red Rose are due July 5 by 5 p.m. Bids for other parcels are due July 5 and June 20.
Carter said the company will entertain separate offers within the parcel groupings. Go to murraywiseassociates.com for more information.
Rich Shopes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 661-2454.