|By Lorri Helfand, St. Petersburg Times,
Fla.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Dec. 22, 2010--BELLEAIR -- A Miami investor has confirmed that he and his partners have taken control of the Belleview Biltmore Resort & Spa.
"We control the property through purchasing the mortgage," Daniel Ades said Tuesday.
Ades said, from now on, his brother Raphael and another partner would be in charge of the day-to-day operations of the hotel and its other properties, including the Belleview Biltmore Golf Club and the Cabana Club on Sand Key.
Ades said their first priority will be to stabilize things, paying late bills and making sure the golf course continues to operate.
"Then, we'll start evaluating what we think is the best option on the hotel," Ades said. "But we're in no rush to do that."
Last month, Senior Care Group said it was in talks with Ades' group and was exploring the feasibility of restoring the Biltmore and converting it into a multiuse facility for seniors.
Senior Care representatives did not return calls for comments by press time Tuesday.
In October, Ades said his group was chiefly interested in the golf club property and had plans to upgrade the 136-acre golf course on Indian Rocks Road and the club itself.
Tuesday, Ades said he and his partners may choose to separate the properties or find another party interested in the Biltmore properties as a whole.
"We want to try to find something good for the city and amenable to us," Ades said.
Ades said he couldn't disclose what the group paid for the mortgage, which was held by a company affiliated with Urdang & Associates, based in Pennsylvania.
Three years ago, Latitude Management Real Estate Investors, formerly known as Legg Mason Real Estate Investors, bought the property for $30.3 million.
The mortgage on the property was $26.8 million.
Glenn Sonnenberg, president of Los Angeles-based Latitude Management, was out of the office Tuesday and couldn't be reached for comment. But the company had previously said its plans for a $100 million makeover were waylaid by lawsuits and the economy.
City leaders Tuesday said they were interested to hear more from Ades' group.
"It's exciting that we can finally move forward, and I'm anxious to hear what their plans are," Mayor Gary Katica.
Deputy Mayor Steve Fowler said he was reluctant to comment before he sees what type of presentation the group makes.
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