Former Yankee Clipper hotel in Fort Lauderdale sells for $107M

Property picked up by The Carlyle Group

Dec.December 05, 2014 01:30 PM

The historic Fort Lauderdale hotel formerly known as the Yankee Clipper officially set sail from Starwood Capital Group and is now docked with The Carlyle Group. The property changed hands on Dec. 3 for $107 million.

Carlyle’s affiliate CRP/Insite Clipper got a $98.74 million mortgage from Ladder Capital Finance to acquire the property.

The deal closed a month after Starwood announced its Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel would part ways with the Sheraton brand in early December. Now, Sheraton and Starwood are both out of the picture with the entrance of Carlyle as the hotel’s new owner.

The deal involves 12 properties, ranging from 486 hotel rooms to parking lots and vacant land, according to property records. Starwood’s affiliate A1A Clipper acquired most of the interest stake in the beachfront resort for $58.88 million in 2005, but the Gill family – which developed it half a century ago – kept a minority stake. On Dec. 3, the family sold its interest to Starwood for $8 million so the entire resort could be sold to Carlyle as a package.

The iconic boat-shaped hotel on the beach opened in 1956 as the Sheraton Yankee Clipper. Designed to look like a cruise ship, it was often featured in films over the past decades, including the 1999 movie “Analyze This,” starring Robert DeNiro and Billy Crystal.

By 2005, the hotel was in need of a multi-million renovation in order to remain competitive, but the Gill family couldn’t afford the cost. Once Starwood came on board, it took another five years for the improvements to be completed in 2010.

The Dec. 3 transaction underlines the voracious appetite for hotels in some of Broward County’s hottest hospitality markets, including Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood Beach.

Private equity investor Thayer Lodging Group recently paid $460 million to buy the 998-room Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, now renamed Diplomat Resort & Spa Hollywood by Hilton Worldwide.

And in July, Blackstone Group sold its leasehold interest in the Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel & Marina – home to a 296-room Doubletree by Hilton hotel – to a partnership of Tate Capital LLC, Rok Acquisitions LLC, Rialto Capital and RCI Marine Inc.

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