September 29, 2022

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Hennessy puts Daytona’s Streamline Hotel up for sale again

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This image of the Streamline Hotel at 140 S. Atlantic Ave. in Daytona Beach was taken in February of this year. Owner Eddie Hennessy put the “birthplace of NASCAR” up for sale in early May 2022, for the second time in three years. He said he is doing it simply to “test the waters” and that he expects to continue to hold on to it.

DAYTONA BEACH — After spending $6 million to extensively renovate and restore the “birthplace of NASCAR,” the owner of the iconic Streamline Hotel has put it up for sale again for the second time in three years.

Owner Eddie Hennessy previously put the Streamline up for auction in early April 2019, but then decided against selling it. He had set a reserve price, meaning lowest acceptable offer, of $7.5 million.

This time around, according to listings posted on May 13 both on the commercial real estate marketplace websites Crexi.com and Loopnet.com, Hennessy has set a minimum asking price of $9.9 million.

“The (real estate) market’s so hot, honestly, it’s to test the market,” said Hennessy in a phone interview when asked why he decided to put the Streamline back up for sale.

“It’s nothing serious. It’s just for fun. It’s still my baby,” he said of the distinctive art deco-style landmark hotel that opened in 1941 at 140 S. Atlantic Ave. in Daytona Beach.

Hennessy, however, would not rule out the possibility of selling the hotel if someone were to meet his minimum asking price.

“That’s something when the offer appears to me, I’ll decide,” Hennessy wrote in a text message responding to further questions on Tuesday morning.

The hotel’s listing agents are Dino Dodani and Sean Sedita of EXP Realty. Hennessy. who grew up in the Daytona Beach area, said both are longtime friends of his since childhood. Neither Dodani or Sedita returned calls seeking comment.

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Renovation featured on ‘Hotel Impossible’

Streamline Hotel owner Eddie Hennessy stands in front of the hotel on June 21, 2014, when his efforts to renovate the "birthplace of NASCAR" are being filmed by a production crew from the Travel Channel's "Hotel Impossible" reality television show. The $6 million project to restore the 1940s-era art deco hotel in Daytona Beach was finally completed in May 2017.

Streamline Hotel owner Eddie Hennessy stands in front of the hotel on June 21, 2014, when his efforts to renovate the “birthplace of NASCAR” are being filmed by a production crew from the Travel Channel’s “Hotel Impossible” reality television show. The $6 million project to restore the 1940s-era art deco hotel in Daytona Beach was finally completed in May 2017.

The rooftop bar atop the Streamline Hotel’s third-floor served as the location of several meetings in 1947 that resulted in the formation of NASCAR, the national stock car racing-sanctioning body. NASCAR’s headquarters is now at the One Daytona complex across the street from Daytona International Speedway.

Hennessy bought the Streamline Hotel, which had fallen into a state of disrepair, in 2014. He proceeded to invest heavily in an extensive renovation of the building to bring it back to its original 1940s glory, while also adding modern amenities to turn it into a boutique hotel. His several-years-long effort was featured in an October 2014 episode of the Travel Channel’s reality television show “Hotel Impossible.”

The 44-room Streamline Hotel finally reopened in May 2017 and was hailed by community leaders at the time as a “catalyst” to revitalizing Daytona Beach’s long-blighted East International Speedway Boulevard corridor, the “gateway to the World’s Most Famous Beach.”

The Streamline Hotel is located one block north of the intersection of East International Speedway Boulevard and South Atlantic Ave., also known as A1A.

Hennessy said he recently invested another $50,000 on improvements to the hotel’s rooftop bar, which he has renamed the “Sky Rooftop Bar.” The bar now regularly features live music as well as deejays and special themed events, such as its Latin Nights. The rooftop is also available for rent for private parties and other special events. It also hosts a yoga class every Sunday morning.

Hennessy said the Streamline Hotel is now managed by a company called Chesapeake Management, which recently hired a new general manager for the property, Jeff Vandiver, who previously managed the Perry’s Ocean Edge Hotel on A1A in Daytona Beach Shores. The Streamline Hotel currently employs 30 to 40 people, depending on the time of year, Hennessy said.

‘Everything is for sale’

“With this market, everything is for sale,” said Hennessy, who added that his putting the Streamline Hotel up for sale again does not mean he would actually go through with selling it. “Just seeing what the market brings me. Curious is all. I have too much invested in Daytona to sell.”

Streamline Hotel owner Eddie Hennessy provided this aerial photo of his hotel (in the upper left corner) and its proximity to the other properties he purchased (marked in orange) directly to the south and west along East International Speedway Boulevard (the road on the right) in Daytona Beach. The structures in the orange highlighted areas have all been demolished. As of May 17, 2022, those properties remain vacant. Hennessy on May 13 put the Streamline up for sale for the second time in three years. The hotel served as the birthplace of NASCAR in 1947.

Streamline Hotel owner Eddie Hennessy provided this aerial photo of his hotel (in the upper left corner) and its proximity to the other properties he purchased (marked in orange) directly to the south and west along East International Speedway Boulevard (the road on the right) in Daytona Beach. The structures in the orange highlighted areas have all been demolished. As of May 17, 2022, those properties remain vacant. Hennessy on May 13 put the Streamline up for sale for the second time in three years. The hotel served as the birthplace of NASCAR in 1947.

Hennessy, following his purchase of the Streamline Hotel, also bought several properties, both immediately south of the hotel, as well as one block to the south and west along East International Speedway Boulevard.

In recent years, Hennessy has cleared those properties, by demolishing the old Shells restaurant directly south of the hotel, as well as an “old pizza store” and two rundown houses. Those properties, which total 2.3 acres not counting the Streamline, still remain vacant.

“I’m feeling it out,” he said of his properties along East International Speedway Boulevard. “It’s all about timing and getting the right name (to be a tenant).

“Honestly, the new East ISB road is going to dictate a lot,” he added, referring to the city’s planned $22 million project to improve the East International Speedway Boulevard corridor.

Hennessy said if he were to sell the Streamline Hotel, it would only be if the new owner’s plans for it would “work with the rest of my properties that I’m going to develop eventually around the hotel and the community.”

The Streamline Hotel, like all hotels in the Daytona Beach area, struggled during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Hennessy said the hotel now is “doing great. It’s fully booked.”

Bob Davis, president and CEO of the Lodging & Hospitality Association of Volusia County, said, “Everybody’s doing well,” referring to Daytona Beach area hotels in general. “We had the greatest March ever. This whole year’s been off the wall. Florida in the first quarter of the year has broken all the records in terms of tourism.”

As for Hennessy’s decision to put the Streamline up for sale again, Davis said he didn’t have an opinion. “I don’t know. He went on the market the last time when (another area hotel) went on the market. At the last minute, he pulled out. We’ll see,” he said.

Carl Lentz IV, managing partner of SVN Alliance Commercial Real Estate Advisors in Ormond Beach, said he can understand why Hennessy decided to put the Streamline Hotel up for sale again. “The hospitality industry has recovered significantly and that property (the Streamline) has a great backstory.”

On the other hand, “the hospitality industry and the management of hospitality (properties) is challenging,” Lentz said, adding that it is also difficult although not impossible for independent boutique hotels to compete with hotels that are part of big chains. “I can see where he’s motivated to get out of that industry.”

Lentz has no involvement with either the Streamline Hotel or with Hennessy. He praised Hennessy for having “assembled an increase piece of property along East ISB. As the transformation of East ISB occurs, that property will continue to increase in value.”

This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: Owner puts Daytona’s Streamline Hotel up for sale again

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