A company tied to Swedish developer Par Sanda — who spearheaded transformation of a group of mid-century mom and pop beachside motels into the “North Beach Village” — has sold three motel sites for SEK 129 millions.
The former Martindale motel at 3016 Bayshore Drive had been earmarked for redevelopment along with two adjacent parcels. Sanda and his team had planned to reopen the sites as a 100-room resort called Flow.
The adjoining lots previously were occupied by the Sandy Shores and Seaside motels.
Property sales records show Fort Lauderdale-based Flow Hotel LLC as selling the three motel sites, totalling 25,865 square feet, to Bayshore Hotel LLC.
Florida business records list Bayshore Hotel’s manager as Pawel Plata, who is also associated with the nearby Shell motel at 3030 Bayshore Drive, which is closed for renovations. He also is connected with the Seville Hotel & Apartments a few blocks away.
Sanda’s investment company bought the Martindale and other two motels for $4.9 million in April 2013.
Christine Sposa, vice president of operations at North Beach Village Hotel Properties, the Sanda affiliate that oversees its hotel operations, said the decision to sell the Flow property to Plata made sense as he shares a “similar idea and vision,” for the neighborhood.
Plata had started renovating the adjacent Shell hotel when the Flow redevelopment began, and he was “intrigued” by Sanda’s plans, Sposa said.
Redevelopment of the triple-motel site began in late 2013 and the first phase of the new Flow hotel — 25 rooms — was initially expected to open in spring 2014. That didn’t happen and the project wasnt completed.
Sposa said recent talks between Sanda and Plata about the site’s future eventually led to its sale.
“Plata loves the area and sees great things happening here,” said Sposa.
Plata could not be reached for comment Friday.
With the Flow project out of the pipeline, North Beach Village Hotel Properties is focusing on continued beautification and improvements at its existing properties, Sposa said.
By late March or early April, 16 new rooms will be added at the company’s Tranquilo hotel on Vistamar Street as part of a renovation of an adjacent property, she said.
The company also recently reopened its outdoor eatery Plaza Bistro during weekends.
Since 2010, Sanda’s investment companies have purchased more than 35 low-rise buildings and lots and spent about $80 million to create the European-style village between Fort Lauderdale beach and the Intracoastal Waterway west of the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort and south of Bonnet House.
Renovations of several 1950s-era motels and inns in the area have taken place, by Sanda and other property owners.
Today, Sanda’s North Beach Village Resort collection of 16 boutique properties also include the Cocobelle Resort, Tara hotel, Aqua, Beach Gardens, Royal Palms and Tropirock and Solas hotels.
Last year, the company opened an art gallery in a building previously used for short term-residential rentals called Village Design as part of its desire to expand entertainment and dining options.
“It’s becoming a cool place for event space,” Sposa said.
Prior to that, the company opened its 15-room flagship North Beach Hotel at 551 Breakers Ave., which offers a mix of deluxe studios and one-bedroom units as well as two penthouses with full kitchens.
The hotel’s Village Café restaurant and bar has also become a popular neighborhood dining and entertainment spot, she said.
Demand for North Beach Hotel’s penthouse space, which features a multipurpose loft with its own balcony terrace and entertainment area, has been growing since its opening, Sposa said.
“Now things are really starting to take off,” she said. “Since we hired an event coordinator we’ve been doing site tours like crazy. This year is going to be a big boom for us, with events.”