Bankruptcy court approves Disney-area hotel sale for $8.55M to Sarasota group

Sarasota-based Finergy Group will officially acquire the long-closed Magnuson Grand hotel on Kissimmee's W192 tourism corridor before the end of the year.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Karen Jennemann signed an order Dec. 7 approving the buyer and an $8.55 million sale price. That started a 14-day waiting period for the closing, which is expected to take place next week. 

Founded by Italian-born Enzo Gagliardi, Finergy owns and operates multiple Hilton-branded hotels on Florida's Gulf Coast and recently built neighboring Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton by Hilton hotels next to EuroDisney in Paris.

The 442-room Magnuson Grand is located just off Disney property, at 7491 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway. It has attracted dozens of sale offers over the last year, but none of the contracts closed, according to court filings. Finergy Group has already paid a $500,000 nonrefundable deposit for the property.

Gagliardi specializes in the purchase of bankrupt companies, which he has restructured and sold for a profit. The company also has its own construction division, Finergy Development, which has mixed-use projects underway in Tampa and Sarasota.

"They're very professional, and they have great plans for the property," said HotelMax President Terry Hatfield on Thursday, who has listed the property since July 2016. 

The four-story hotel was built in 1984 by Holiday Inn founder Kemmons Wilson as one of his signature "Wilson World" hotels. The guest rooms surround an 8,000-square-foot atrium with an indoor pool. The 8.2-acre property also has an outdoor pool and full-service restaurant.

Finergy won the Hilton Conversion of the Year Award in 2005 for its conversion of an incomplete assisted living facility in Sarasota into a Homewood Suites. That building had sat vacant for seven years.

Hatfield said the Gagliardis plan to reopen the Kissimmee hotel as a four-star property.

"I can tell you their plans are to go into construction immediately," Hatfield said. "They will take it down the the skeleton and rebuild. The refurbishment will be comprehensive, and when it's done it will be something that benefits us all."

The hotel is right across from the new Walmart Supercenter at W192 and Old Lake Wilson Road, and a block from the new CVS-anchored Parkview mixed-use development, which will include a new hotel.  

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