One of downtown Tampa’s signature hotels has a new owner.
The Westin Tampa Waterside on Harbour Island sold Sept. 3 to a group of real estate investors for $67.5 million in funds managed by New York private equity firm Apollo Global Management, according to a deed filed with the Hillsborough County Clerk of the Circuit Court’s office.
The 309-room Westin Tampa Waterside recently underwent a $17 million renovation, according to an announcement from the buyers. It sits directly across Garrison Channel from the Tampa Convention Center and is near Water Street Tampa, the $3.5 billion downtown development led by Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and an investment company funded by Bill Gates.
The hotel last changed hands in 2016, selling for more than $42.3 million, according to the Hillsborough County property appraiser. The new price represents a 60 percent markup.
“Our investment in the Westin Tampa Waterside is in line with our positive long-term outlook on the broader Tampa market, where we are acquiring high-quality real estate at a significant discount to replacement cost,” Dan Kwon, a partner in Apollo’s real estate arm, said in a statement.
Apollo may be best known around Tampa Bay for their 2020 purchase of Largo’s Tech Data, one of the area’s largest corporations, for $6 billion. Tech Data recently merged with another California technology distribution company in a deal worth more than $8 billion that left Apollo controlling about 45 percent of the company.
Apollo’s principal partner on the deal is Newbond Holdings, a firm started this year by a handful of veteran real estate investors. Newbound’s acquisitions thus far have primarily been apartments in the Northeast, but partner Andrew Fichte said the company was actively pursuing more properties in Florida.
“We’re very excited about what’s going on in Tampa Bay,” Fichte said. “We’ve seen a major shift to the downtown market with everything going on with the (Water Street) development and going on in the convention center, so this was very strategic. In addition, we’re extremely excited about what we’re seeing in terms of companies we’ve talked to about looking at Tampa as a market to relocate employment, and what we’re seeing in the tech sector in particular. We are just very excited about Tampa long-term.”