|By Kimberly Miller, The Palm Beach Post,
Fla.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Jan. 14, 2013--SOUTH PALM BEACH -- The iconic Palm Beach Oceanfront Inn, known to locals as the Hawaiian, has been bought by new owners for $8.25 million.
Palm Beach County court and property records show the 50-year-old hotel on South Ocean Boulevard was purchased in November by the limited liability corporation 3550 Palm Beach Holdings.
PNC Bank had filed for foreclosure in February 2011 against the previous owner, Kosova Realty Corp., which bought the inn for $3.3 million in 2002. PNC released that mortgage in early November.
"We look forward to a new era for this Palm Beach landmark and appreciate the outpour of excitement and support from the locals," said Gary Cohen, a representative of 3550 Palm Beach Holdings, which has a Connecticut mailing address.
The Coral Gables-based hotel management company Trust Hospitality will manage the property.
The hotel was originally called the Palm Beach Hawaiian Ocean Inn and was designed in a Polynesian style. Its winged roof is a standout among the neighboring condominiums that line South Ocean.
Cohen said physical and operational improvements are planned for the inn and that a long-range "vision" will be announced in the near future.
The hotel has 58 guest rooms and the oceanfront Tides Bar & Grille.
The previous owners had wanted to raze the structure and rebuild it as a 14-story condominium hotel. They were willing to build the town a public safety building and new town hall to sweeten the deal.
Despite several plan modifications, no reconstruction efforts made their way through the town and state regulatory process. Kosova Realty Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March.
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