Developer lands $24.3 million loan to build dual-flag hotel in downtown Tampa

A hotel branded as a Hampton Inn and Home2 Suites is planned by a company led by a member of the Miami Marlins' new ownership group

Punit Shah, CEO of Liberty Group
Punit Shah, CEO of Liberty Group

A developer that turned an office building into an Aloft Hotel in downtown Tampa is set to break ground for dual-flag hotel there.

The Tampa-based developer, Liberty Group, got a $24.3 million construction loan to build a nine-story hotel in downtown Tampa that will operate under two Hilton-family flags, Hampton Inn and Home2 Suites.

Liberty Group got the loan from Centennial Bank to build the 213-room, dual-brand hotel on slightly less than one acre of vacant land at 1155 East Kennedy Boulevard in Tampa. Guided by CEO Punit Shah, Liberty Group bought the land in Tampa’s Channel district in 2016 for $3.25 million.

Liberty Group opened the Aloft hotel in downtown Tampa in 2014 and subsequently sold it.

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Among other investments, the CEO of Liberty Group has a minority equity stake in the new ownership group of the Miami Marlins, led by retired New York Yankees star Derek Jeter.

Liberty Group said in a statement that its downtown Tampa development will be the “first purpose-built, dual-branded hotel in West Florida.”

The new hotel, which will feature a ground-floor Starbuck’s café, is one of several in downtown Tampa’s development pipeline, including a 500-room convention hotel and a boutique hotel with condos in the master-planned Water Street Tampa development along the city’s waterfront. [Tampa Bay Business Journal]Mike Seemuth