Largest resort-marina in Florida Keys has new owner

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The Florida Keys’ largest resort was recently sold to Carey Watermark Investors.

The real estate investment trust’s total investment in the Hawks Cay Resort is about $149.4 million, including a $133.8 million purchase price and $15.6 million of planned capital improvements and other acquisition-related costs. The acquisition was financed with $79 million of debt. The property will be managed by the Pyramid Hotel Group.

The resort is on Duck Key, about 100 miles south of Miami and 60 miles northeast of Key West, and it includes 177 guest rooms and a residential management program that includes more than 250 two-, three- and four-bedroom villas.

Capital improvement plans involve projects that include the redevelopment of the marina restaurant and other enhancements to the 85-slip marina area.

In addition to the marina, the resort includes 14,800 square feet of indoor meeting space, six food and beverage outlets, a private saltwater lagoon, the 7,000-square-foot Calm Waters Spa, five swimming pools, the Indies Kids' Club, the Cliff Drysdale tennis center and 10,000 square feet of retail and office space.

“Given the limited number of existing resorts and restrictions on new development, the Florida Keys is one of the strongest lodging markets in the country,” Carey Watermark CEO Michael Medzigian said in a statement.

“Our acquisition of Hawks Cay is consistent with our strategy of applying our lodging investment and asset management disciplines to exceptional properties. We believe that through our planned improvements and upgrades, as well as the introduction of the Pyramid Hotel Group management team, we will be able to enhance and reposition the resort, create a solid financial platform for future operations and achieve attractive risk-adjusted returns for our investors."

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