Belleview Biltmore Purchased

Belleview Biltmore in Belleair, FloridaAfter months of rumors, it’s official- the Belleview Biltmore is now owned by KAWA Development. The investment group consists of brothers Raphael and Daniel Ades, and another partner. The group purchased the mortgage on the property for $8 million, and now control the hotel, as well as the Belleview Biltmore golf course and the Cabana Club in Sand Key.


According to Raphael Ades, they will focus first on paying bills and keeping the golf course in operation and later decide what to do with the hotel. Legg Mason (now Latitude Management Real Estate Investors) mortgaged the property for $26.8 million with intentions to restore the hotel.


The future of the property is still unclear. In October, Ades said his group was primarily interested in the golf course and had plans to upgrade the 136-acre golf course. In November, Senior Care Group said it was negotiating with the investors to possibly restore the Biltmore and convert it into an assisted living facility. Ades has recently said they may separate the properties or find another party interested the properties as a whole.

Sand Key Residents Fight Cabana Club Development

Legg Mason Real Estate Investors, the owner and redeveloper of the Belleview Biltmore and the Cabana Club, plans to replace the current club and swimming pool with a 6 story luxury 38 room boutique hotel with a large restaurant, bar and beach side cabaña amenity. Lead architect Richard Heisenbottle presented the details of the project in a public meeting last Tuesday at the Belleview Biltmore.
Many Sand Key residents say that the project is too commercial for the residential area, although the present site operates commercially. Community activists have organized opposition to the project and have fashioned an information blog and web site pointing out their objections. One is heavy beach use as a result of the hotel and cabanas in an area they consider environmentally sensitive. Ocean views coveted by residents near the project could conceivably be diminished by the height of the proposed building. It measures 67 feet above the flood zone line that is approximately 6 feet above ground level at the site. The code calls for 25 feet, but many buildings in the area surpass that and 2 properties at 1350 and 1370 Gulf Boulevard have received variances to 80 feet within the past three years.
Design and construction plans that have been revised by the developer seek various deviations to the Community Development Code including set backs, distance to neighboring properties and building height, all of which pose problems according to opponents. The issues are now under review by the Clearwater Planning Department and a report should be available in August with city staff recommendations concerning the variances. The board will study the report before taking action on the issues at their August 19th meeting at city hall.