However, the general manager of the 963-room Downtown hotel said the foreclosure sale will not impact operations and that the property will remain affiliated with Hyatt.
The lending group led by U.S. Bank was awarded a $195.5 million judgment in August 2011 in Duval County Circuit Court against the hotel's owner Oxford Jacksonville Riverfront Hotel LLC.
Oxford Jacksonville is a partnership led by a San Francisco hotel investment firm called Chartres Lodging Group LLC.
The court had previously scheduled a foreclosure auction three times for the property but it was postponed each time to give Oxford a chance to try and renegotiate the loan. The auction finally proceeded on Wednesday and the property was awarded to the plaintiffs.
Jacksonville attorney James Riley of Rogers Towers, who represents the plaintiffs, said the new owners expect to get their certificate of title for official ownership of the property in 10 to 14 days.
Riley said the new owners had no further comment on the Hyatt.
Dan King, general manager of the hotel, said he has not been in contact with the new owners but Hyatt will continue to operate the property.
"The most important thing I can tell you is we are the managers of the hotel and have a long-term contract to manage it as a Hyatt," King said.
King and the other 400 employees at the hotel work for Hyatt Corp., which has the management contract with the hotel owners. King would not say how many years remain on the contract but said the contract will remain in effect under the new ownership.
King also said the foreclosure proceedings have not affected operations and that the hotel will continue operating as it has been after the sale.
"We look forward to doing that for years to come. We just have a new owner," he said.
Pinpointing the identity of the new owners may be difficult.
Oxford Jacksonville bought the hotel, which opened in 2001, from the Adam's Mark hotel chain in 2005 and converted it to a Hyatt.
Court documents show that Oxford Jacksonville obtained a $150 million mortgage from UBS Real Estate Securities Inc. in 2007. Later in 2007, the loan was assigned to a commercial mortgage-backed securities trust, so the money is owed to investors in a pool of mortgage-backed securities. U.S. Bank is the trustee for the mortgage-backed securities.
The trustee filed a foreclosure lawsuit against Oxford Jacksonville in November 2010 and with interest and fees, the judgment came to $195.5 million nine months later.
The Hyatt is the second major Jacksonville area hotel taken over by lenders in the past two years. The Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa was turned over to Goldman Sachs Mortgage Co. in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in 2011 after its Ireland-based ownership group could not agree on a restructuring plan for $193 million in debt.
Goldman Sachs still owns the Ponte Vedra Beach resort.
In another bankruptcy case involving a Northeast Florida resort, the Omni Hotels & Resorts chain bought the Amelia Island Plantation in 2010 for $67.1 million after a court auction.
With the backing of its new owners, the resort now known as the Omni Amelia Island Plantation recently completed an $85 million renovation.
With no other bidders emerging at a foreclosure auction Wednesday, the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront Hotel will be officially turned over to its lenders in the coming days.