Historic Gulfstream Hotel goes up for sale

Features

Historic Gulfstream Hotel goes up for sale
 
Published Monday, July 29, 2019
by LISA J. HURIASH

The hotel, at 1 Lake Ave., first opened in December 1924 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Even though it has been shuttered for more than a decade, its owners hope someone will “restore this remarkable property,” according to a spokeswoman.

 
 

In its heyday, the luxury hotel was a meeting and gathering hot spot for socialites from Palm Beach and Lake Worth to hang out and enjoy its restaurant and rooftop dance club.

CBRE Group Inc., the commercial real estate services and investment firm handling the sale, would not reveal the asking price. County property records show the hotel was assessed at $5.4 million last year.

 

The Gulfstream rises six stories and has 106 rooms. It experienced trouble shortly after it first opened. The 1928 hurricane blew the roof off the Gulfstream, damaged the fifth and sixth floors and reportedly deposited huge amounts of sand in its lobby. The Great Depression soon followed and its original investors went bankrupt and were forced to close.

The hotel was shut down from 1929 to 1936.

But it reopened in 1936 when two retired Army officers purchased it at auction.

Its owners sold it in 1978, but by the early 1980s, the Gulfstream was struggling again. In 1989, a group of Finnish investors purchased the Gulfstream at auction for $3 million and things were looking up again.

A reporter in 1993 described it like this: “Wide cream-colored doors swing open to the magnificent lobby. The high ceiling is Atlantic blue. The blue and a deep rose run in stripes on couches and chairs. The brown rattan furniture, the white pillars and chandeliers, the arched windows over French doors — all recall the opulent early 1920s.”

In the early 1990s, so many of Gulfstream’s guests were Finnish that the Finnish-American consulate kept an office at the hotel. But four years after the Finnish investment, it was back at auction and remained closed until 1997.

 

Holiday Inn purchased the Gulfstream in 1998 and renovated it.

In 2005, a West Palm Beach group that purchased the hotel for almost $13 million considered turning it into a hotel-condo hybrid. But it has been sitting vacant since 2005and went into foreclosure in 2010. County property records show the building was last sold in 2014 for $7.2 million.

CBRE said it will find a developer or investor for the Gulfstream and adjacent 54,000-square-foot vacant property on behalf of the current owners, CDS Holdings, for renovation and expansion.

Both the hotel and adjacent vacant land parcels are zoned for hotel, residential, retail and other commercial uses.

Natalie Castillo, a first vice president with CBRE, said no interior renovations have been done in more than a decade. She said the vacant land could be used for pool or parking for the hotel, or even a new residential project. The hotel’s exterior is protected because of its historical status, she said.

“A hotel here would do very well,” she said. “We think it could be a great destination property, especially for tourists who want to spent a couple days. There’s a lot of history people would really enjoy [including] really high spectacular ceilings.”


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