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September 19, 2013

Hawks Cay, Keys’ largest resort, is for sale

The Florida Keys' largest resort could be the latest in a flurry of local large-scale and high-cost commercial real estate transactions in recent months.

The Florida Keys' largest resort could be the latest in a flurry of local large-scale and high-cost commercial real estate transactions in recent months.

The Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key near mile marker 61 could sell for a price in excess of $125 million, according to industry sources.

Hawks Cay Resort spokeswoman Holly Lee-Zawyer confirmed that the resort is for sale. Resort officials declined to be interviewed.

The resort features 402 two-and three-bedroom villas and hotel rooms, as well as five restaurants, the Calm Waters Spa, interactive Dolphin Connection facility, and a full-service marina featuring dive, snorkeling and sportfishing operations.

Addisson, Texas-based Behringer Harvard, with Northview Hotel Group and Five Star Realty Partners LLC, acquired the resort in February 2007 for a reported $75 million. The resort was independently owned and operated for 24 years before that. It was built in 1959 and opened as the Indies Inn a year later.

According to Monroe County Property Appraiser Scott Russell, BH/NV Hawks Cay Property Holdings LLC, an affiliate of Behringer Harvard, owns seven parcels on Duck Key. Several are smaller, "ancillary" green space properties, he said.

The company's main holdings include what Russell said is the hotel (177 rooms) and the marina area on Duck Key Boulevard. The resort includes roughly 300 privately owned "villas," one of which BH/NV owns.

The assessed value of Hawks Cay proper — the two-lot hotel and marina — is $17,709,177. However, included with the hefty sales price would be the right to take over management of the individually owned villas from BH/NV.

Hawks Cay management didn't say how many employees the sprawling, 60-acre property employs.

Late last month, Maryland-based LaSalle Hotel Properties announced its Keys record $184.5 million purchase of the 260-room Southernmost Hotel Collection on the Atlantic end of Duval Street in Key West. The price was a new record for Keys hotel properties at the equivalent of $709,615 per room.

In May, the Pier House Resort and Spa in Key West sold for $90 million, or $633,802 per room in the 140-room property. The buyer from the Cleveland-based Pier House Joint Venture was the Ashford Holiday Trust of Dallas. At the time of sale, the taxable assessed value was $21 million.

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