A foreign investment group has paid $17 million for the Lauderdale Beachside Hotel and says it will renovate the rundown property in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.
Florida Development Group, a team of real estate developers from the Ukraine, bought the 147-room former Howard Johnson’s in a bankruptcy auction. Comerica Bank moved to foreclose in 2011, but the owner filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to stop the repossession.
Florida Development also owns the hotel next door, Captain’s Quarters.
«It’s an exciting change for the area,» said Linda Worton Jackson, a lawyer for Florida Development. «Their intent is to improve the beachline.»
Malcolm McClintock, executive director of the Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Chamber of Commerce, called the sale a «big boon» for the town of about 6,000 residents. He said Lauderdale Beachside faced mold and other issues.
«Everybody is delighted that this hotel group is coming in and hopefully turning this into a prestigious hotel,» he said.
In September, another company, New California Hotels Corp., announced plans to renovate two hotels in the community.
The first, at 4116 N. Ocean Drive, will be known as Ocean One Resort. The second, at 4110 El Mar Drive, will be called the Bungalows at Ocean One. The work is expected to be complete next year.
Lauderdale Beachside, built in 1975, sits on about three acres at 4660 N. Ocean Drive. The CBRE firm represented bankruptcy trustee Maria Yip.
CBRE’s Christian Charre said in a statement that two of the four bidders at the auction were foreign investors.
«Investor appetite for beach locations in Florida is no longer concentrated toMiami beach, but has spilled over into Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach,» Charre said.