ST. PETE BEACH — The $83 million sale of the Postcard Inn on St. Pete Beach to two investment firms from New York and Dubai came together in part because of $72.5 million in financing arranged by CBRE.
According to the commercial real estate firm, the loan package was put together by its Hotels Debt & Structured Finance division, which worked with BlackRock to secure the financing. CBRE represented the seller in the transaction of the popular beach hotel, which has been a Pinellas County mainstay for more than half a century.
The firm says it has completed more than $4.5 billion in financing in the hospitality sector since the pandemic began. This latest transaction “reinforces the strength of the capital markets seeking leisure-driven resorts in supply-constrained coastal markets.”
The 9.64-acre Postcard Inn sits on about 300 feet of beachfront property in St. Pete Beach. The hotel, which was first built in 1957, includes a full-service restaurant, a 3,880-square-foot indoor outdoor terrace and one of the largest pools on St. Pete Beach.
The new owners are a joint venture between The LCP Group, from White Plains, New York, and New York- and Dubai-based private equity firm Safanad. LCP, according to its website, was founded in 1973 and has about $1 billion in assets under management. Safanad is a private equity firm specializing in real estate that says it has completed more than 40 deals totaling more than $10 billion since being founded in 2005.
The companies say the hotel will undergo a major renovation to modernize rooms and food offerings.
The hotel will be run by Crescent Hotels & Resorts, which will operate the Postcard under its Latitudes Collection umbrella. Other hotels in the collection include the PGA National Resort and Spa in West Palm Beach and The Mayfair at Coconut Grove in Miami along with about 30 others in the U.S. and Canada.
The Postcard last changed hands in 2017 when the Carlyle Group sold it for $47.4 million to TPG Hotels & Resorts.
The Postcard is just the latest big dollar sale of a hotel property in the area.
In December, the 180-room Current Hotel in Tampa sold for $85 million, and the 115-unit SpringHill Suites on Clearwater Beach sold in October for $51.8 million — nearly $20 million more than its previous owner paid three years ago. The adjacent property, a 140-room Residence Inn, sold for $63.1 million in October, up from $38.9 million in 2018.
Farther south, the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club sold for $362.3 million last year.
Analysts have said the demand for the hotel properties is driven by a combination of a strong tourism market that’s fueled by people traveling domestically due to COVID-19 restrictions and economic factors. Among the factors helping hotel is inflation. Hotels have the flexibility to raise rates on a nightly basis to adjust for rising costs while the other classes of properties are locked in.