ISLAMORADA, FL-Ceebraid Signal has acquired the landmark Holiday Isle Beach Resorts and Marina for just shy of $98.3 million, which translates to $7.8 million an acre, or $650,662 a unit. The West Palm Beach-based developer beat out 23 other bidders, one of which made a $100-million offer for the hotly contested sale by Deerfield Beach-based Celentano Properties.

Celentano received numerous unsolicited offers over the past five years for the 12.6-acre resort, which contains nine buildings with an aggregate of 151 hotel units, 10 restaurant/retail buildings, a gas station and 57-slip deep-water marina. One of the more recent ones was for $70 million, Robert Taylor, SVP in the Miami office of CB Richard Ellis, tells “Once Celentano committed to sell, it retained our hotels, resorts and multihousing group to secure a buyer.

“This is a famous resort for anglers from around the world, and the sale attracted international attention,” Taylor says, with more than 240 development groups requesting offering memoranda and 23 firm offers. “The company that bid $100 million was out of state, not experienced with condo hotels and distracted by other developments,” he says. “Ceebraid met early with Celentano and presented a compelling argument for its development plan based on detailed information on pricing, redevelopment rights and market conditions.”

The CBRE team that handled marketing and negotiations for the seller consisted of Taylor; Robert Given, SVP; Jay Massirman, vice chairman; and Gerard Yetming, VP. Ceebraid was represented in house. “It was a complicated, multifaceted transaction,” Taylor says, “requiring multiple approvals and development agreements because of the marina, retail and restaurant components in addition to the hotels.

“This sets a new benchmark for sales of assets in the Florida Keys,” he says. “In order for the purchase to work out for the buyer, I suspect they will attempt to sell the units–all with ocean views–at nearly $1.5 million on average, and market conditions appear to look promising.” A call to Ceebraid was not returned by deadline.

In 1981, Vincent Celentano visited the original hotel and resort with his teenage sons and learned that it was in bankruptcy. At the time he declined to pay the trustee’s request for $8 million. Two years later, he assembled partners and made a successful $5.5-million bid. During the 1990s, the partnership acquired the hotels surrounding the original building.

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