BUYER: CREFIII Waramaug Busch Gardens LLC (manager: Paul Nussbaum), Boca Raton
SELLER: Liberty Busch Gardens LLC
PROPERTY: 2807 E. Busch Blvd., Tampa
PRICE: $8.04 million
PREVIOUS PRICE: $1.01 million, October 2006
LAW FIRM ON DEED: Johnson Pope Bokor Ruppel & Burns LLP, St. Petersburg
Private investment firm Waramaug LS Hotels LLC purchased the 123-key, 69,000-square-foot Holiday Inn Express & Suites-Tampa-USF-Busch Gardens for $8.04 million.
The price equated to $65,356 per unit. That figure is less than the two-year average price per unit for multifamily space ($72,609) in the Tampa Bay area, according to the CoStar Group.
The hotel occupies a 2.39-acre parcel. Its amenities include an outdoor swimming pool, fitness and business centers, a breakfast bar and 725 square feet of meeting and event space.
In a press release announcing the sale, Craig Nussbaum, senior vice president of Waramaug LS Hotels, says the hotel is positioned to gain market share against its competitors and should be a good long-term value. Further he says that revenue per available room in the Tampa Bay area is predicted to grow considerably over the next two years.
The seller, Tampa's Liberty Group, purchased the hotel in late 2008, and managed it through its affiliated firm Liberty Hospitality Management. Shortly after its purchase, the hotel's lobby and great room were renovated.
Waramaug LS Hotels LLC is the select service hotel arm of Waramaug Hospitality, a private investment group that owns 23 hotels with 4,668 total rooms.
Michael Weinberg of HFF handled the transaction. Will Conroy of St. Petersburg-based Johnson Bokor Rupel & Burns LLP represented Liberty Group as seller's counsel.
The purchase entity, CREFIII Waramaug Busch Gardens LLC, mortgaged the property to US Bank NA for $7.48 million.