|By Morris Fraser, Northwest Florida Daily News, Fort Walton Beach|
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Oct. 12, 2004 - The Radisson Beach Resort has been sold and will be replaced by a condominium, according to the president of its management company.
Marc Leffman, who has been general manager of the hotel since November, said the hotel would "go dark" Nov. 1. He and staff members are in the process of clearing out equipment.
Leffman, who heads Innovative Hospitality Management, would not reveal the name of the new owner, other than to say it will be a division of a larger corporation.
"It'll be the entity of an entity," he said Monday. "I don't know which one yet." He did not name a purchase price.
"The property has been sold-- some money has changed hands-- but it has not been closed on yet," Leffman said. "I don't know if the new owner will tear down the entire building or retain part of it."
Located on almost 12 acres of beachfront on Okaloosa Island, the property is being sold by French Quarter II LLC, listed only with a postal mailing address in Tampa.
The property was sold in 1997 for $22.75 million. Its current assessed valuation for Okaloosa County tax purposes is $15,175,127. Leffman said last spring he guessed the current value of the property at "$60 million to $70 million."
Leffman said a week ago the owners were trying to determine the best course of action for the hotel, which has been located on Okaloosa Island for more than 30 years, for most of that time as a Holiday Inn under several owners. Radisson took control in 1998.
He said in April that the Radisson was being purchased by Marriott and confirmed last week it was scheduled to become a Courtyard Inn. But Hurricane Ivan forced a change in plans, and French Quarter decided to sell to another buyer.
Guests remaining after the Sept. 15 hurricane were moved from the Radisson to the Hampton Inn by Sept. 30.
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