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The 243-room Continental Bayside Hotel in Miami, Florida Sold for
$13.5 Million to JV of the InSite Group and the Carlyle Group

By Hannah Sampson, The Miami HeraldMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Sept. 20, 2011--The budget Continental Bayside Hotel in downtown Miami has sold to a joint venture that includes a Weston-based development firm.

InSite Group and the Carlyle Group together bought the 243-room property at 146 Biscayne Blvd. for $13.5 million, according to real estate investment firm Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, which arranged the sale on behalf of RFR Holding Corporation. The sale closed last week.

A full renovation will begin in early 2012, said Ronald Tencer, vice president of acquisitions and development for InSite Group. The company is in the process of deciding on a brand.

Earlier this year, in a different joint venture, InSite bought the 251-room Continental Oceanfront South Beach Hotel for $61 million. That property will become B South Beach. InSite opened B Ocean Fort Lauderdale in January, the chic re-do of a former Holiday Inn, and is also an owner of the DoubleTree Gallery One in Fort Lauderdale.

Washington, D.C.-based asset manager Carlyle Group has also made several recent acquisitions in South Florida, including the Blue Moon Hotel and Winterhaven Hotel in South Beach in June.

Tencer said downtown Miami was an attractive proposition due to its proximity to the Port of Miami, sports arena, museums under construction, performing arts center and plans for billions of dollars in development between the planned Brickell CitiCentre and Resorts World Miami.

"Basically with everything that's gone on in downtown, you have various demand generators," he said. "It makes downtown a really great location."

The Continental Bayside Hotel was originally built in 1926 with a second phase of construction in the 1950s. The property across from Bayfront Park includes a fitness center, meeting space and a vacant restaurant and lobby bar.

A press release issued on behalf of the buyers said guest rooms, public spaces and the hotel's exterior will all be renovated and the lobby will include "a new food and beverage concept." The hotel is expected to re-launch in its new form late next year.

The $13.5 million purchase price pales next to the $236 million that Genting, the developer of Resorts World Miami, paid for The Miami Herald land, slated for redevelopment as a giant resortcomplex. But Andrew Dickey, vice president of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels Miami, said his firm "let the market speak on pricing" for the property that will require a significant amount of work.

"Given the momentum in the downtown market given the Swire [Brickell CitiCentre] project and the Genting project, it's a great opportunity for the InSite Group," he said.


(c)2011 The Miami Herald

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