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Liberty Group of Cos. takes over two 'Comfort' hotels

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  • | 3:40 p.m. March 4, 2012
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  • Tampa Bay-Lakeland
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BUYER: Liberty Clearwater Investments LLC, Clearwater

SELLER: Sweet Hospitality LLC

PROPERTY: 1941 Edgewater Drive, Clearwater

PRICE: N/A (based on non-public debit sale)

PREVIOUS PRICE: $4.5 million, June 2005

BUYER: Liberty Plant Investments LLC, Clearwater

SELLER: 2003 South Frontage Road Holdings LLC

PROPERTY: 2003 S. Frontage Road, Plant City

PRICE: $1.5 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $5.6 million, December 2006

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Quilling, Selander, Lownds, Winslett & Moser PC, Dallas

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Clearwater-based Liberty Group of Cos. acquired two limited-service hotels in the Tampa Bay area.

It acquired the non-performing senior mortgage secured by the 50-room Comfort Suites hotel in Clearwater from Morgan Stanley Mortgage Capital, and entered into a stipulated foreclosure agreement with the borrower. Built in 2004, the waterfront hotel features views of Clearwater Harbor from most of the rooms. Its amenities include a fitness center and outdoor heated pool.

The company also purchased the 61-room Comfort Inn hotel in Plant City from CWCapital Asset Management LLC, a special servicer to U.S. Bank, for $1.5 million. The price equated to $24,590 per unit. Built in 2002, the hotel is located directly off Interstate 4 between Tampa and Orlando. The property features meeting and banquet rooms, a fitness center, business center and outdoor heated pool.

“These were certainly underperforming and had been mismanaged,” says Punit Shah, president and chief operating officer of the Liberty Group of Cos. “We were able to buy them far below replacement cost. We feel there's tremendous upside through capital expenditures and professional management. There are also rebranding opportunities for both of them.”

Liberty Hospitality Management will manage the hotels.

Since 2010, Liberty Group of Cos. has acquired and invested in 16 hotels throughout the United States.


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