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OTO Development buys St. Pete Beach hotel for $34.5 million

Margie Manning

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Howard Johnson by Wyndham in St. Pete Beach

OTO Development, a hotel development and management company headquartered in Spartanburg, South Carolina, has bought the Howard Johnson by Wyndham St. Pete Beach Resort Hotel.

OTO, operating as St. Pete Beach Hotels LLC, paid $34.5 million for the St. Pete Beach hotel, according to a deed filed Dec. 6 in Pinellas County. St. Pete Beach Hotels also recorded a $45 million construction mortgage with Fifth Third Bank on the same day.

The company plans to to renovate the property, although it’s too early to say what changes are planned, said Jeremy Handel, a spokesperson for OTO.

The hotel, at 6100 Gulf Blvd., has 136 units with 14 suites and a 450-square-foot meeting room, according to Visit St. Pete/Clearwater. It also houses the Toasted Monkey Sports Bar & Grill.

The seller, the Brownlee Reagan Revocable Trust, had owned the property since 1992, when it paid $5.9 million for it, Pinellas County property records show.

The St. Pete Beach hotel “made sense for us,” Handel said. “From a hotel development standpoint, OTO is always looking for properties in markets with high visibility and high visitation.”

The company builds from the ground up as well as purchases and redevelops existing properties, he said.

OTO Development manages the Hampton Inn & Suites Tampa/Ybor City/Downtown, one of five Florida properties listed on its website. In November, OTO opened the remodeled and rebranded Hampton Inn by Hilton Key West, part of Hilton’s global upper-midscale brand. The renovated hotel is OTO Development’s first presence in Key West.

OTO Development, with a total of 64 management properties nationwide, is the 19th largest hospitality management company in the United States, based on gross annual revenue. The company was founded in 2004 by several of the founders of Extended Stay America, including Wayne Huizenga Jr., the south Florida businessman who also founded AutoNation and owned Blockbuster Video.

OTO Development is a part of The Johnson Group, a family of diverse companies.

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