New Floridan Hotel Owners Plan ‘Major Renovation’ of Original Tampa Skyscraper


At 19 stories and 240 feet, the Floridan Hotel was the tallest building in Florida when it was built in 1923. When it opened in 1927, it was Tampa’s original skyscraper.

Decades later, in 2006, it faced the wrecking ball – until the Markopoulos family stepped in and bought it for $ 6 million.

“It was a great trip for the family because I have seven kids and all of the kids pretty much grew up here,” said Angelo Markopoulos.

They spent millions of dollars to restore the intricate details of the Crystal lobby and dining room. But despite its historic splendor, the success of the hotel, now known as The Floridan Palace Hotel, has been tempered.

“Some of the challenges for Florida were obvious when he was tempted to put him on the line for the Republican National Convention,” said Alexis Muellner, editor of the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

Some said it was too far from the new downtown Water Street redevelopment area in Tampa and too far from the Tampa Riverwalk. Residents nearby say the hotel sometimes feels deserted.

Now the Markopoulos family have sold their labor of love to new owners.

“They’re going to take this hotel and they’re going to make it the jewel of Tampa,” Angelo said. “It’s going to become very property when they’re done with this.”

The new owners of the Floridan also own the Tradewinds Resort in St. Pete Beach. They paid $ 22.5 million for the Florida, as well as a property nearby.

“There is an opportunity, I think, to tear down some walls and make bigger rooms,” Muellner suggested. “It has a crazy charm.”

He expects the Floridan to become a boutique hotel with one of the big hotel brands such as Hilton or Hyatt. It has historic monument status and a rich Tampa history.

Some believe that development will extend north to Florida. Tampa’s Cass Street Corridor is already coming to life with new businesses and residential properties.

“Selling it was bittersweet because of the memories we all had here,” Markopoulos added. Those memories can now fall back on the future of Tampa’s original skyscraper.

In a written statement, the new owner, 1754 Properties, indicates that a “major renovation” is planned. They say they intend to be “good stewards of the hotel’s intriguing past.”

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