Hilton hotel beside USF Sarasota-Manatee sold for $10.8 million

cschelle@bradenton.comDecember 5, 2013 

Hotel had been eyed by USF for student housing

MANATEE -- A hotel once tabbed as a possibility to house University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee students is off the market.

The Hilton Garden Inn on Tamiami Trail was sold for $10.8 million to a Fort Myers-area Hilton hotel developer Shoham Amin under his company Excel Sarasota 1 LLC. The sellers were George Dabney, Kim Gauthier and Carroll Warfield of Annapolis, Md., who bought the hotel for $11 million in 2005 with their company, Thayer Lodging Group, according to sales records.

Details weren't released on whether there would be any changes at the hotel, but the developer's portfolio already includes other Hilton properties.

Amin used a $9.2 million mortgage from Jefferies Loancore from Stamford, Conn., to finance the deal, according to Manatee County Clerk records.

The 115-room hotel with conference rooms at 8270 N. Tamiami Trail was once considered to be acquired by USF as the campus expands to become a full-service campus offering classes and housing to freshmen and sophomores. But in 2012, the corporate owners of the hotel sent a cease-and-desist letter to the university to stop talking about acquiring the hotel during board meetings because it would never happen.

The college wasn't too far off on an asking price, estimating that acquiring the hotel would have cost the university more than $9 million, plus renovations. The college's alternate plans included either acquiring self storage property Yasky Inc., the Airport Inn motel or Leedom Management Group Inc.'s used car lots.

Charles Schelle, business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter@ImYourChuck.

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