Thunderbird Beach Resort and an adjacent motel sell for $32.5 million to Hollywood firm. Sale marks an end to decades of family ownership at the beachfront property.
The Thunderbird Beach Resort, an iconic waterfront hotel on Treasure Island, has sold for $25.5 million, according to Pinellas County property records.
The adjacent Best Western Sea Castle Suites, a 42-room motel at 10750 Gulf Blvd. that opened in 1956, also sold for $7 million.
Hollywood-based Thunderbird TI Holdings LLC, an entity comprised of Gilad Ovaknin, Avraham Ovaknin, Shaul Zislin, Eliyahu Levy and Doron Malinasky, acquired both the 106-room Thunderbird Beach property and the Best Western.
Prior to the June sale, the 10700 Gulf Blvd. resort had been owned for 50 years by the King family, according to records.
Thunderbird Beach, which was completed in 1957, features 310 linear feet of beachfront. “We anticipate that this iconic resort will continue to thrive in its next chapter under new ownership,” says Chris Plasencia, a managing director of Tampa-based The Plasencia Group, a lodging advisory firm that represented the sellers in the Thunderbird Beach transaction.
The Thunderbird Beach resort also marks the latest in a line of major hospitality sales along Treasure Island in recent years.
In July 2017, a joint venture between Crescent Real Estate and Five Star Realty Partners teamed up to buy the 382-room Sirata Beach Resort & Conference Center, at 5300 Gulf Blvd., for $108.2 million.
Like the Thunderbird Beach, it had been family owned for decades.
That same year, Procaccianti Cos. bought the 196-room Postcard Inn on the Beach, at 6300 Gulf Blvd., for $47.4 million. It, too, contains 300 feet of beachfront.
Most recently, in July 2019 Gencom Group acquired a pair of St. Pete Beach properties, the 10-story Grand Plaza Resort and the Beachcomber Beach Hotel & Resort, for a combined $100 million. Together, the two hotels — both built in the 1970s — contain 258 rooms.
Nick Plasencia, another Plasencia Group managing director, says in a statement that the Thunderbird Beach Resort sale is “representative of the unprecedented investor interest in Florida’s hotels and resorts, especially those along its coasts.”
Plasencia Group says it has been involved in roughly $400 million worth of hotel work in recent months, including a June refinancing of the famed Vinoy Renaissance Resort and Golf Club.
SCG Hospitality, which bought the St. Petersburg resort in 2018 with $130 million in financing, last month increased its loan on the property by $35 million, documents indicate.