Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Judge approves plan that could bring Safety Harbor Resort & Spa out of bankruptcy

TAMPA — A federal judge has approved a debt restructuring plan that could bring the Safety Harbor Resort & Spa out of bankruptcy and clear the way for the city of Safety Harbor to buy a chunk of the resort's bayfront property for a park.

On Wednesday, U.S. bankruptcy Judge Michael G. Williamson reduced the resort's secured debt from $30 million to about $17.8 million, which will be repaid over a five-year period.

The action, said resort attorney Steve Berman, will enable his client to "re-emerge from bankruptcy with a realistic debt structure. They are going to be in a better financial situation, which is going to enable and ensure the continued viability of the resort."

Williamson also approved the resort's plan to sell about 15 acres of its downtown Safety Harbor property to the city. The property along the shore of Old Tampa Bay runs north from Veterans Memorial Lane at the city marina to Mullet Creek.

The city is offering almost $4 million for the property, which would help pay down the resort's overall debt. The sale to the city is contingent upon an appraisal of the property, a land-use agreement and an okay from the City Commission.

The appraisal of the property will have to come in close to the city's almost $4 million offer, or the court will have to reconsider the issue.

The City Commission will probably take up the purchase at a July meeting.

"The residents of Safety Harbor are ecstatic over the prospect of being able to purchase this strategically located piece of property," said Mayor Andy Steingold. "I'm quite pleased that the proposed purchase is moving as anticipated."

Steingold noted that although the property is expensive and these are tough times for local governments, the opportunity to get the land might not come again.

At the May 16 City Commission meeting, commissioners envisioned the property as a park with a beach, volleyball courts and walking trails.

A second group of investors has made an offer of $2.8 million for the land, potentially to build housing. However Williamson, the bankruptcy judge, opted to proceed with the city's proposal as his first choice.

"The critical part is to keep the ball rolling," Williamson said. "It's a positive that the city has shown such an interest."

William E. Touloumis is the president of Olympia Development Group, which owns the 22-acre resort. He said he is pleased with the city's plan.

"We still retain the open view, and somebody else takes care of the mowing," Touloumis said. "It works for us very well."

S.H.S. Resort LLC, a company formed by Olympia Development Group, purchased the resort in 2004 for more than $20 million. The group then spent another $20 million in renovations and remodeling. Then the economy tanked.

Last fall, the resort filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The spa is one of Florida's oldest and has been a part of Safety Harbor's downtown for 60 years. It is listed on the state's register of historic places and is known for the mineral springs that run beneath the property.

"Safety Harbor's largest employer is still in business," said Howard P. Slomka, the attorney for Olympia Development Group, after the judge's decision. "We are still open for massages and weddings. By selling to the city, we can still host concerts and firework shows. None of that is going to change, and that's great for the residents."

Contact Demorris A. Lee at dalee@sptimes.com and (727) 445-4174.

Judge approves plan that could bring Safety Harbor Resort & Spa out of bankruptcy 05/26/11 [Last modified: Thursday, May 26, 2011 7:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pinellas, Hillsborough to share notes on

    Blogs

    What is this, a crossover episode?

    Hillsborough County school superintendent Jeff Eakins did make an appearance at the Pinellas County School Board workshop Tuesday in a first public move to establish an official partnerships between the two districts.

    Hillsborough County school superintendent Jeff Eakins (center) and Pinellas school superintendent Mike Grego discuss a new partnership between the two districts at a Pinellas County School Board workshop Tuesday in Largo.
  2. NFL players, owners hold 'constructive' talks on issues

    Bucs

    NEW YORK — NFL players and owners met Tuesday to discuss social issues, a session Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross called "constructive."

    A coalition of advocacy groups 'take a knee' outside of a hotel where members the quarterly NFL league meetings are being held on Tuesday in New York City.  Owners, players and commissioner Roger Goodell are all expected to attend. The activists spoke of having solidarity with athletes and coaches around the country who have also kneeled in protest of racial injustice, especially in policing.
 [Getty Images]
  3. Marine colonel on temporary duty at CentCom arrested in Polk prostitution sting

    Macdill

    A Marine colonel on temporary duty at U.S. Central Command headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base was among nearly 300 people arrested in a Polk County Sheriff's Office prostitution and human trafficking sting.

    Marine Col. Kevin Scott, 51, was arrested in a Polk County prostitution sting on Oct. 14. Scott, on temporary duty at U.S. Central Command, was charged with a misdemeanor county of soliciting a prostitute. He was released on $500 bond. Photo courtesy of the Polk County Sheriff's Office.
  4. Senator says deal set on restoring ACA subsidies ended by Trump

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A leading Republican senator says he and a top Democrat have reached an agreement on a plan to extend federal payments to health insurers that President Donald Trump has blocked.

    President Donald Trump sits for a radio interview in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in the White House complex in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) DCSW104
  5. Pasco delays Irma food distribution after problems elsewhere

    Local Government

    DADE CITY — Pasco County has pulled the plug on a planned Food for Florida distribution at the Land O'Lakes Recreation Center that had been scheduled to open to the public on Sunday.

    Pasco County has postponed a planned Food for Florida distribution at the Land O' Lakes Recreation Center on Collier Parkway and is seeking an alternative site. Last week, commissioners said they feared a repeat of the long lines of traffic that appeared outside Plant City Stadium on Oct. 9. The nutrition program for people affected by Hurricane Irma had been scheduled to come to Land O' Lakes Oct. 18 to 27.  [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]