New Rosa Del Mar owner says ‘no’ condos

Five vacant beachfront lots in the 2500 block of Gulf Drive, Bradenton Beach, that once were planned for development as Rosa del Mar, a 14-unit luxury condominium, have been sold to Anna Maria businessman Steven Hanson and some partners.

Along with the sale to Hanson went the dreams of Robert Byrne and Steve Noriega, former principals in GSR Development LLC, the company that owned Rosa del Mar. The company announced plans for the condominium project in 2003, but went into bankruptcy in 2006.

Hanson, however, said banks still consider condo to be a “four letter word” and, regardless, he’s not interested in condominium development.

Hanson envisions five luxury beachfront houses, all designed with a “Caribbean” theme, but the plan is still in the visioning process.

“We have a long way to go before we’re ready to present site plans,” he said.

He’s been involved in real estate development on the Island four years, since his move here from Great Britain, following his parents, who moved to the Island 10 years ago.

GSR Development LLC, and Byrne and Noriega, had a number of real estate investment projects on Anna Maria Island from 2003-2006, including Rosa del Mar in Bradenton Beach and the ill-fated Villa Rosa housing project in Anna Maria.

GSR reportedly paid $6 million for the Bradenton Beach property in 2003 and refinanced it for $8.6 million based on a $12 million appraisal.

The GSR real estate empire collapsed in July 2006 when the company went into bankruptcy. The Rosa del Mar property was put up for sale, but without success.

Eventually, the federal bankruptcy court hired Island real estate agent Barry Gould to find a buyer for the $9.2 million mortgage on the property. Since then, the Federal Deposit Insurance Company took over the property.

The $9.2 million asking price, however, drew little interest.

Hanson said that when he first saw the lots were for sale, he was intrigued with the possibilities for vacant beachfront property. He went to Gould, thinking he might be able to put together a good investment for single-family homes on the Gulf of Mexico.

“When Barry said ‘$9.2 million,’ I politely said ‘no way’ and said goodbye,” Hanson recalled.

But he remained “in the loop.”

He formed 9Solutions LLC and began purchasing and managing vacation rental properties.

By mid-2011, the asking price of Rosa del Mar had dropped to what Hanson believed was close to a reasonable figure. Negotiations began with the federal bankruptcy court in Tampa and the FDIC and eventually they agreed to Hanson’s offer.

Gould said that because of FDIC confidentiality regulations, he couldn’t reveal the price at this time, but Hanson said it was definitely less than $9.2 million.

Hanson said the 9Solutions LLC group that purchased the property includes contractor-developer Shawn Kaleta of Holmes Beach.

With five lots on the Rosa del Mar property, Hanson can build five single-family residences, but is opting for the slow approach. He plans to build one house at a time.

Hanson said he plans to challenge five architects to design a beachfront house in what they consider a “Coastal Caribbean” style. The winning designer will choose the name of the subdivision, Hanson said.

Hanson and Gould plan to host on-site reception at the newly acquired beachfront lots in the 2500 block of Gulf Drive, Bradenton Beach, from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4.

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