Sagamore Hotel owner Martin Taplin dies at 77

The Sagamore Hotel was quietly being marketed for sale, with a contract in the works for $65M, sources said

Mar.March 09, 2016 05:30 PM

From left: Cricket Taplin, Martin Taplin and Martha Stewart

UPDATED March 9, 2016 6:15 p.m. Martin Taplin, a real estate investor, art collector and owner of the Sagamore Hotel, has died at age 77, The Real Deal has learned.

Bal Harbour Chief of Police Mark Overton told TRD late Wednesday that “based on the facts known at this time, it appears the cause of death was blunt trauma from a fall, and the matter is still under investigation.”

Taplin had been ill for more than a month, and had been in and out of the hospital, several sources told TRD. His assistant confirmed to TRD on Wednesday that Taplin died on Tuesday. She said the family was not commenting on the circumstances surrounding his death or whether it occurred in the hospital, at his home or elsewhere. The death is not yet recorded on the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner’s website.

Taplin headed Martin W. Taplin & Associates, and was known for his love of art, an affinity he shared with his wife Cricket Taplin.

As TRD reported last Friday, Taplin and his partners were quietly marketing the Sagamore Hotel for sale for about $60 million.

Sources told TRD this week that a $65 million contract was in the works.

The oceanfront hotel, at 1671 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach, known for its art-filled lobby and previous bankruptcy filing, was again facing hard financial times, sources had said.

The Sagamore, owned by Sagamore Partners Ltd., had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October 2011. At the time, Sagamore Partners Ltd. said it filed for bankruptcy to protect the property from a foreclosure suit filed by special servicer LNR Partners. The hotel had defaulted on its $31.5 million mortgage and tried to stop a foreclosure action in 2010. Sagamore Partners said that it stopped making the payments in an effort to restructure the loan, as per LNR’s instructions.

The 93-room hotel, originally built in 1948, encompasses 92,000 square feet on a 43,125-square-foot site, according to Miami-Dade property records. The five-story property last sold for $315,000 to Sagamore Partners in 1997.

Now, a price of $65 million would equate to $698,924 per room or $1,507 per square foot for the land.

The all-suite Sagamore, which calls itself  “The Art Hotel,” displays its collection of photography, sculpture and video throughout its common areas and event space, as well as in its Gallery Dining Room and Art Video Bar Lounge, according to its website.

Taplin’s assistant said services will be held on Friday at Blasberg Rubin Zilbert funeral home at 720 71st Street in Miami Beach.

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