TREASURE ISLAND — A California hotel investment company and a Chicago real estate firm have purchased the Bilmar Beach Resort for $16.4 million.
Clearview Hotel Capital LLC of Newport Beach, Calif., and WHI Real Estate Partners of Chicago jointly purchased the beachfront resort from TI Resort LLC of Cleveland, according to the Pinellas Property Appraiser's Office.
There are no immediate plans to expand the hotel or Sloppy Joe's Restaurant and Bazzie Beach Bar and Grill — part of the purchase — but amenities are being added, said Jon Kline, founder of Clearview.
Guests at the 165-room resort will have access to a beachfront water slide, beach chairs and paddleboards, Kline said. Special arrival kits for children also will be given.
"The property is in real good condition," Kline said. "We are evaluating the property before we make any decisions on capital improvements."
This is the company's first purchase in Florida. Founded in 2007, the privately held hotel investment company, with annual revenues of $200 million, owns 10 hotels in places like Hawaii, California, Louisiana and Texas.
"We love being on the beach," he said. "They aren't building any more beaches."
Clearview was one of several companies interested in the hotel, Kline said. Negotiations began last summer.
"There was a broker involved who spoke with other folks. I don't know if we were the highest offer, but we moved quickly so that was attractive to the seller," Kline said.
The current hotel management company, Forbes Hamilton Management Co. of Kissimmee, will continue day-to-day operation of the facility.
Having one operator for all three entities at the resort will provide more continuity, Kline said, and "give us opportunities to do some things, make it more efficient and seamless."
About 46 of the 165 rooms at the Bilmar are individually owned, a leftover from a previous owner's attempt to turn the hotel into condominiums. TI Resort had owned the hotel since 2000.