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Front Page » Top Stories » Developer Purchases Historic Miami Beach Hotel

Developer Purchases Historic Miami Beach Hotel

Written by on February 5, 2004

By Susan Stabley
The developer of Miami Beach’s Akoya has bought the historic Radisson Deauville Hotel and two adjacent parcels for $28 million.

Homero Meruelo – principal at the MerCo Group, developer of the 48-story condo Akoya – purchased the hotel and properties at 6635 and 6650 Indian Creek Drive, according to Andy Elfmont, who brokered the sale with associate Ian Tacher.

Memphis-based Davidson Hotel Co. and Prudential Real Estate Investors bought the hotel in 1997 from a private investor. Mr. Meruelo bought the hotel this week from Prudential Life Insurance Co.

Miami-Dade property records list 540 previous owners for the address. A failed condo conversion in the late 1980s left about 50 units with private owners, said Mr. Elfmont.

The sale, which closed Monday, was one of his most complicated deals, he said.

The Deauville had been operating under the Radisson flag, but by Tuesday, the hotel chain had removed the resort from its website. Mr. Meruelo said Tuesday he will manage the hotel and plans $10 million in renovations.

Half of the 494 units he acquired are sold, he said, and the Deauville will become a condo-hotel. A 20-story, 144-unit tower will be added.

"We’re going back to the old 1960s look," he said. The faÁade will remain but the pool will be moved.

Plans include razing the ballroom where the Beatles performed for the "Ed Sullivan Show" 40 years ago this month. Built in 1956, the North Beach resort at 6701 Collins Ave., also played host to the Rat Pack, led by Frank Sinatra.

The Indian Creek Drive land is used for parking. One parcel will be turned into a garage with 10,000-square-feet of ground-floor retail, Mr. Meruelo said, with a 15-story condo planned for the other plot.