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Scooping up deals
Russell Galbut has built Beach hotel holdings by buying right
MIAMI BEACH -- Russell Galbut likes value buys and he's willing to wait for them.
Galbut, owner of numerous South Florida properties, has become one of the largest holders of hotel rooms in Miami Beach.
Certified public accountant, attorney and real estate mogul Galbut and his Crescent Heights companies have acquired real estate of all sorts. Adult congregate living facilities. Apartment buildings. Upscale hotels.
But Galbut's image is not so simple. To some he's the consummate hotelier. To others, the consummate converter.
Some observers in the hospitality industry believe conversion of large amounts of hotel space is a threat to a city which has spent countless hours and dollars seeking a convention center hotel. The plight of a million square feet of space and not enough hotel rooms has been the prominent issue for Miami Beach tourism since the convention center's renovation.
There's nothing new about converting hotel properties, especially distressed properties. But Galbut is different -- he's been very successful, said Sheldon Greene, a Miami real estate …