Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Potential buyer for Belleview Biltmore steps forward

BELLEAIR — A man who introduced himself to the mayor as the "next and final owner" of the Belleview Biltmore said he will close on the historic hotel this week.

"Trust me," Thomas Gavin wrote in an e-mail late Friday to Belleair Mayor Gary Katica. "I am in contact with the present owners of the Biltmore and ready to sign a contract this week to purchase and close this year."

Gavin described himself as the chairman of Lifestone Capital Corp., a company that is not listed in Florida corporation records.

He said he has stayed in the presidential suite at the Biltmore, an experience that gave him "the full appreciation of the presence and the need to preserve the legacy of such a grand hotel."

Gavin said he doesn't want to destroy the hotel, but complement it. He was unavailable for comment Monday, but participated in a 15-minute conference call with Katica and Town Manager Micah Maxwell.

Katica, who said he would be thrilled if Gavin closed this week, said Gavin repeated his desire to restore the hotel.

"When you get something exactly the way you want it," Katica said, "you hope that it's true.

"They just want to take the pagoda entrance down, make a five-star hotel, enhance the golf course, be a good neighbor."

The Biltmore's mortgage is held by former owner Urdang & Associates. The company declined to comment.

Three years ago, Latitude Management, formerly known as Legg Mason Real Estate Investors, bought the property for $30.3 million. That agency could not be reached Monday night.

The Biltmore closed more than a year ago for a three-year, $100 million makeover. But lawsuits and the lagging economy have stalled the project.

Interest in the Biltmore waned until September, when Tampa lawyer Ron Weaver called officials and inquired about commercial and residential possibilities.

Miami brothers Daniel and Raphael Ades flew in this month to find out what development the community would allow.

Then on Friday, Gavin became the third interested buyer.

"I think every one of them has said that they had a contract on it," Maxwell said. "We have yet to see any movement on it. People can say whatever they want, and we'll just see who ends up with the hotel."

Times researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report.

Potential buyer for Belleview Biltmore steps forward 10/25/10 [Last modified: Monday, October 25, 2010 11:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays morning after: Wilson Ramos showing glimpses of what's possible in 2018


    The real payoff for the Rays signing C Wilson Ramos last off-season will come in 2018, when he can play a full season fully recovered from right knee surgery.

    And Ramos is giving the Rays a pretty good glimpse of what that can be like.

    In Friday's 8-3 win over the Orioles, he hit a grand slam - …

  2. Buccaneers-Vikings Scouting Report: Watching Kyle Rudolph, Adam Thielen and Everson Griffen


    No matter how much film we study, no matter how much data we parse, we just don't know how an NFL season will unfold.

  3. 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]

  4. Sue Carlton: Job or family when a hurricane's coming — a very Florida conundrum


    It must seem as foreign to Northerners as shoveling snow is to those of us raised in the Sunshine State: The very-Florida conundrum of having to choose between work and family — between paycheck and personal safety — when a hurricane comes.

    A hurricane helps the rest of us acknowledge the police officers, paramedics, hospital personnel, public works employees and others who stay on the job despite the storm. 
  5. After Tampa concert, Arcade Fire members party, preach politics at Crowbar


    After waiting more than a decade for Arcade Fire’s first appearance in Tampa, fans didn’t have to wait long for their second.

    DJ Windows 98, a.k.a. singer Win Butler of Arcade Fire, performed at a "Disco Town Hall" at Crowbar following the band's concert at the USF Sun Dome on Sept. 22, 2017.