Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Two firms want contract to revive New Port Richey's Hacienda Hotel

The New Port Richey City Council will rank the developers interested in renovating the Hacienda Hotel before beginning negotiations on a deal.

BRENDAN FITTERER | Times

The New Port Richey City Council will rank the developers interested in renovating the Hacienda Hotel before beginning negotiations on a deal.

NEW PORT RICHEY — The city is poised to enter into new talks with two developers interested in restoring the historic Hacienda Hotel.

It's been more than a year since the city council cut ties with Jacksonville-based Community Development Partners after legal hurdles to expansion and a down economy repeatedly stalled six years of redevelopment negotiations.

Since then, the city has sponsored a community cleanup of the Main Street property — which it bought in 2004 for $2.1 million — that drew hundreds of volunteers who gave the former hotel a paint job. The city also renovated its well-known courtyard fountain, but what to do further with the 1927 landmark has remained up in the air.

During a meeting last week, the council selected two developers, Florida Motel Inc., of Yulee, and Birmingham, Ala., firm Legacy Lodging LLC, to try to nail down a long-elusive vision for the property. Legal requirements mandate the next step will be to rank the two companies before starting negotiations.

The city's economic development director, Mario Iezzoni, recommended the board rank Legacy first, saying the company has considerable hotel development experience.

In addition, Legacy will soon begin the restoration of the historic Redmont Hotel in Birmingham, which aligns with how the company would handle the Hacienda, company president James Lewis Jr. wrote to the city. He could not be reached for comment on this story.

Once renovation is complete on the Redmont, Legacy plans to turn over its operations to a New Hampshire hotel management firm called Hay Creek, which would be the plan for the Hacienda.

Iezzoni told the council Legacy has proposed seeking federal and state tax credits as a vehicle for redevelopment of the Hacienda into a 50-room boutique hotel with food and beverage opportunities and meeting space.

Iezzoni recommended the council rank Florida Motel second if talks with Legacy do not result in a deal. But an unscheduled in-person pitch from the company's president, Abraham Rosner, prompted the board to hold off on rankings to get more details from both companies.

Rosner's presentation caught the board's attention when he pledged not to rely on tax credits he said could be slow in coming, instead putting up his own cash to renovate the Hacienda, like he recently did in restoring a 100-room hotel in Yulee called Florida Hotel. He also pledged to live in the area during construction, personally run the hotel once it's finished and use local contractors to do the work. His plans include about 50 rooms along with a restaurant and bar in the building.

While Legacy's proposal said the company wishes to acquire the Hacienda for redevelopment, Rosner did not specify whether he would seek to buy the building from the city or enter a private/public partnership of some kind.

"Once the city decides which entity they will be moving forward with, then it will be time to look at what options are available," Rosner told the Times.

City Council member Judy DeBella Thomas said she was impressed that Rosner would drive several hours to address council member and said his passion for the Hacienda matches the city's. Meanwhile, Mayor Bob Consalvo got permission from the city attorney to allow Rosner's presentation without Legacy officials present.

"I just want to make sure everyone has the same opportunity to be heard," Consalvo said.

Two firms want contract to revive New Port Richey's Hacienda Hotel 01/24/14 [Last modified: Friday, January 24, 2014 4:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Judge tosses life sentences for D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo

    Nation

    McLEAN, Va. — A federal judge on Friday tossed out two life sentences for one of Virginia's most notorious criminals, sniper Lee Boyd Malvo, and ordered Virginia courts to hold new sentencing hearings.

    A federal judge has tossed out two life sentences for D.C. sniper shooter Lee Boyd Malvo. [Associated Press, 2004]
  2. Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's national security adviser, dies

    News

    Zbigniew Brzezinski, the hawkish strategic theorist who was national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter in the tumultuous years of the Iran hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1970s, died on Friday at a hospital in Virginia. He was 89.

    Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, participates in Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on March 5, 2009, in Washington, D.C. [Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]
  3. USF eliminated by UCF in AAC baseball; Florida, FSU, Miami win

    Colleges

    CLEARWATER — Roughly 16 hours after a ninth-inning collapse against East Carolina in the American Athletic Conference's double-elimination baseball tournament, USF returned to Spectrum Field presumably set for a reboot.

    It simply got booted instead.

    ’NOLES win: Tyler Holton gets a hug from Drew Carlton after his strong eight innings help Florida State beat Louisville.
  4. Pinellas licensing board executive director settled hundreds of cases without getting his board's approval

    Local Government

    By Mark Puente

    Times Staff Writer

    Eleanor Morrison complained to the Pinellas licensing board in 2015 that her contractor installed crooked walls and windows and poured too much concrete for her carport.

    Eleanor Morrison poses at her home in Treasure Island, 5/26/17. Morrison filed a complaint with the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board and later learned that its former Executive Director, Rodney Fischer, dismissed the case in a private meeting with the contractor.
  5. Report: Kusher wanted secret communications channel with Kremlin

    World

    Jared Kushner and Russia's ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Donald Trump's transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, U.S. …

    The name of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's White House senior adviser, has come up as part of the Russia investigation. [Associated Press]