South Beach hotel sells in time to dodge debts

Sagamore Hotel

The Sagamore Hotel in South Beach, Fla., was sold to InSite Group of Fort Lauderdale for $63 million.

The deal was reached merely days before $41 million in debt and interest payments were due from seller Sagamore Partners, and InSite also was forced to settle with Merchants Hospitality, who previously had a $70-million contract for the acquisition of the hotel.

“The matter has been resolved to our mutual satisfaction and we look forward to working together in the future,” Merchants CEO Abraham Merchant said in a statement. Merchants also declined to clarify if the settlement included a payment.

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The Sagamore Hotel was facing a $31.5 million balloon payment, as well as $14 million in interest to LNR Partners. The payments were due April 11, and the deal for the hotel closed April 6. The late Martin Taplin, previous owner of the Sagamore Hotel who passed away March 8, also has an estate facing over $14 million in pending lawsuits in addition to what is owed to LNR Partners.

The 93-room hotel was constructed in 1948, and last sold for $315,000 to Sagamore Partners in 1997. New owners InSite Group also owns the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk, the Coco Key Resort in Orlando, and the former Clarion Suites in New Orleans.

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