Belleview Biltmore

Image by moultriecreek via Flickr

Having been in the Belleview Biltmore about 25 years ago I can tell you that it is a magnificent building that, if restored to its former glory, would attract people from all over the world.

Unfortunately it fell into disrepair and needed extensive renovations.

During the real estate boom in the early to mid 2000s there was quite a battle going on whether it would be restored and reopen as a hotel or be torn down so that condo buildings could be put up.

With the downturn in the real estate market the condo idea became less attractive and an investor came forward with a plan to fully restore the historic building.  However, there wasn’t much progress made and I was wondering whether or not it would ever occur.  It seems that there is still some hope.

Commissioners approve extension of plan to restore Belleview Biltmore

By Lorri Helfand, Times Staff Writer
In Print: Wednesday, April 18, 2012


BELLEAIR — Town commissioners received a standing ovation from about 120 local residents at Tuesday’s town meeting after they approved an extension of a 2008 plan to restore the historic Belleview Biltmore.

Coral Gables architect Richard Heisenbottle and his team have a contract to buy the hotel and plan to spend about $225 million restoring it to its former glory and to renovate other resort properties, he said….More at Commissioners approve extension of plan to restore Belleview Biltmore

As with many development projects, issues come up that cause delays or otherwise derail the project.  The article describes some of these issues.

But it sounds like the plan will go ahead now and they seem to have some ambitious ideas on what they want to do.

The team also wants to build a new 153-room east wing in the style of the old hotel and restore the historic Magnolia, Palm and Sunset Cottages on the property.

Their plan includes more improvements to the Biltmore’s golf club and the development of the Cabana Club property into a 38-room boutique hotel….More at Commissioners approve extension of plan to restore Belleview Biltmore

When the Biltmore was open as a hotel years ago and in full swing it brought a lot of visitors from around the world and some of them liked the golf course community of Belleair so much that they became residents (at least for part of the year) and bought houses there.

It is possible that the restored Biltmore could again attract a regular flow of visitors which could then make the Belleair homes market even more attractive than it already is because of the increased demand.  But that will be at least a few years in the future so we’ll have to wait and see.