Hotels & Hospitality Development News in Central Florida

St. Pete-based hotel investors branch into Orlando w/Ramada deal near county jail

Highlighted in blue, the recently acquired Ramada Orlando Downtown lies near the intersection of N. John Young Parkway and Interstate 4.

UPDATED: May 2, 2018 1:03 PM — St. Petersburg-based hotel investors paid a recorded $4.8 million on Tuesday for the Ramada Orlando Downtown, with the seller potentially taking a loss on the asset in just over two years.

Located at 3155 S. John Young Parkway, the five-story, 205-key hotel was built in 1972, and had been owned for the past 28 months by MS Hospitality LLC, an investment affiliate of Arkansas-based fuel wholesaler Jeffrey Magness, who paid more than $4.9 million for the property in late December 2015.


New owner Waleed Anani told GrowthSpotter his brother Sami Anani was at the Orlando property on Wednesday. He declined further comment on their motivation for the purchase.

He said the family investment company has two other limited service hotels in the Tampa and St. Petersburg markets, including the Palm Bay Motel. The Ananis have drawn scrutiny from the Pinellas County Tax Collector's office in recent years for marketing that motel to weekly renters.


The Ananis sourced a $3.1 million mortgage from Hollywood-based LeeCo Development to help finance the Ramada acquisition.

Back in January 2016 when Magness bought the property, he did so for just under $24,000 per key, based on deed doc taxes paid. The price was a bargain and well below local market value, despite clear renovation needs on the property.

Half the rooms were still scheduled for renovation, with Magness anticipated at the time to invest up to $1 million to complete the hotel's property improvement plan.

Following that, his owner entity did file notices of commencement with the county for work on the hotel that included mechanical upgrades and roofing.

Calls to Magness' office were not returned on Wednesday.

The investment by the Ananis follows the September sale of a 201-key Days Inn two blocks to the south to a New York-based investor. Both hotels are within walking distance of the Orange County Correctional Facility, at exit 79 of Interstate 4.

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