By FRANK NELSON NEWS-PRESS STAFF WRITER
The on-again, off-again saga surrounding the Miramar Hotel is now on again, and this time it's final -- Beanie Babies billionaire Ty Warner has bought the historic Montecito landmark.
Ty Warner Hotels & Resorts announced the purchase on Friday in a statement that gave some reasons for the decision, including changes in county government, and hinted at others. The statement did not say how much New York-based hotelier Ian Schrager was paid for the 17-acre beachfront property, but it is thought to be around $45 million.
"We are excited about the opportunity to complete the Miramar renovation to bring new life and beauty back to this community treasure," said Greg Rice, executive vice president of development for the purchasing company.
"We know how long the community has been eagerly anticipating the reopening and we would hope to accelerate the process."
He said the way ahead now involves compiling a new set of building plans based on current codes, submitting them to the various authorities and working through the permit process.
Mr. Rice said changes in county government played "an important role" in Mr. Warner's final decision to complete the purchase.
"Changes in the county leadership and the recent action by the county to reject the frivolous appeal of the Miramar permit extensions -- as well as the recent clear progress by the county Planning and Development Department to bring sensibility and credibility to the review process -- provided Mr. Warner with the confidence he needed to complete the deal," he said.Posted by gandlwoods at April 30, 2005 06:59 AM