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Details emerge on TI Yacht Club’s latest sale

Mark Parker



A California-based investment firm recently purchased the the Treasure Island Yacht and Tennis Club from an entity owned by Bank OZK. Photos: Facebook.

The Treasure Island Yacht and Tennis Club has sold for the second time in less than five months since St. Petersburg business mogul Bill Edwards abruptly closed its doors in August 2023.

Andrew Tavakoli, CEO of West Hollywood, California-based Tavaco Companies, now controls the 7.76-acre waterfront club and marina at 400 Treasure Island Causeway. He acquired the property from TIY & TC LLC, an entity connected to Bank OZK executives Michael Atkins and Rhonda Clark.

John Burpee, CEO of Seminole-based John Burpee & Associates, represented Bank OZK in the latest transaction. The firm also managed the property after the bank took control.

While Burpee could not disclose the purchase price, he said Tavaco closed on the property Dec. 29. “They were an all-cash, fast-close buyer that could close in the bank’s timeframe,” he told the Catalyst.

“The property was previously under contract with a local developer,” Burpee said. “And then that developer defaulted on the contract. There’s still ongoing litigation on that issue.”

TIY & TC purchased the club from Edwards for $15.1 million in August. Bank OZK created the special assets entity to hold the property title.

Burpee’s firm has managed the marina since August. The Yacht Club has remained closed.

Tavakoli could immediately be reached for comment.

John Burpee, CEO of John Burpee & Associates, called the Club at Treasure Island a 37,000-square-foot albatross due to building restrictions. Image: Facebook.

According to Tavaco Companies’ website, Tavakoli began investing, renovating, managing and leasing apartment buildings in 1987. The company boasts extensive experience in nonperforming loans, value-added investments and repositioning projects, with over $2 billion in transactional volume.

The 36,966-square-foot club features a wraparound pool and sundeck, a tiki bar, a full-service restaurant, a 47-slip marina, six tennis courts, a fitness center and a venue for weddings and private events. While the facility was initially for members only, management opened it to the public in recent years.

Burpee is unsure of Tovaco’s plans for the club. However, he explained that the property is undevelopable.

“The property is maxed out on density because it was developed with the two condos next door,” Burpee said. “You can’t go in there and build 100 condo units … we’ve explored all that.”

While he noted that a developer could build eight single-family homes on the property, Burpee said the “economics don’t work for that.” He believes Tavaco will assess the facility’s value and explore future uses before deciding on the club’s future.

Edwards purchased the club in 2009 after securing a $15 million mortgage loan. It was amended to $24 million in March 2020.

The loan matured in late 2022, and Edwards filed a lawsuit against the City of Treasure Island that November due to an ongoing zoning dispute. He filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection the next month.

In December 2022, Edwards told the Catalyst it “was the right business decision” after “coming out of the pandemic and facing challenges with local government.” Real estate and debt solutions provider Mission Capital announced it sold Edwards’ $15 million loan in early 2023.

However, the club’s social media channels showed crowds of young people frolicking around The Club at Treasure Island’s expansive pool deck throughout the spring and summer of 2023. It would abruptly close its doors on a Monday morning in August.

“There was some bad zoning that happened in 1981 that made it really difficult to get the most out of the property,” Edwards said in an August 2023 interview. “We tried to make it work, but the zoning error was too much to overcome, and we decided to move on.

“It was a wonderful place while it lasted. We had a lot of fun and built a great community – but ultimately, it was at my expense.”

Burpee called the facility a great asset. He also noted that Florida statutes prevent local governments from increasing density on barrier islands.

Burpee said the nearly eight-acre parcel, the largest on Treasure Island, is “sitting useless.” While he said the marina is at capacity and has a waiting list, Burpee called the club a “37,000-square-foot albatross that you have to find a use for.”

“Yacht clubs are kind of a dying breed in today’s market, depending on where they are located,” he added. “The marina is not the problem. The problem is the uplands and not being able to do anything with the land.”



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  1. Avatar

    russell breed

    January 27, 2024at4:59 am

    This article was incorrectly posted to the Treasure Island Yacht Club (San Francisco) Facebook page.

  2. Avatar

    Gwen Swinburne

    January 9, 2024at7:48 pm

    Exclusive boutique hotel. Great location,near beach, restaurants, and shopping.

    Smart architect can redesign 37,000 Sq ft into small plate breakfast and lunch Cafe and rest into many hotel rooms.

  3. Avatar

    Gwen Swinburne

    January 9, 2024at7:23 pm

    Why not turn it into a boutique exclusive hotel.The setting is great, close to the beach,and restaurants. A pool is already in place and a restaurant that could be resized to a much smaller venue offering small plate breakfast and lunch.

    With resizing you should be able to maybe have 30 rooms. A smart architect maybe could figure even more.

    With a little redo of 37,000 Sq ft. You could end up with small hotel rooms,

  4. Avatar

    John Hendricks

    January 9, 2024at5:27 pm

    The City of Treasure Island should have used some common sense and bought the property for a city hall. The building is turnkey with only needing partitions put up for individual offices. It would have given the city a community pool, tennis courts, marina and room underneath for a police/fire department. There is also plenty of parking. The City has spent $14,000,000 on a building right on the Gulf of Mexico that is susceptible to storms. The “Club” property would have moved administration, police, fire department and public works out of harm’s way in the event of a major storm. The old City Hall property could have been converted into parking the would have generated revenue which is desperately needed in Treasure Island. One thing the City of Treasure Island needs is some common sense on it’s Commission and in it’s administration.

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