By Peter Osborne
An upstate New York couple looking to move closer to their families have purchased the Baymont by Wyndham hotel near the University of Delaware for $5.05 million.
Tarpan and Anjelie Patel, who own two midscale hotels in Rochester, New York, have taken ownership of the 82-room hotel at 630 College Ave. and are assessing next steps, said Tarpan Patel.
“The hotel needs some work but we’re up for the challenge, he said. “Our first steps are to increase employee compensation and improve the cleanliness of the hotel, but we don’t have any major renovations planned
at this point.”
“We’re surrounded by some very strong brands,” he added. “That means we have a strategic disadvantage that we’ll need to make up for with service.”
The Baymont has received generally good reviews on Yelp for a hotel in its price range ($71-$75 per night), with some of the negative comments focusing on the hotel’s cleanliness.
Patel said he’s focusing on the existing UD business (e.g., college visits) and “transient” business, but sees potential with visitors to the UD STAR campus and the Newark Regional Transportation Center, which is undergoing a $50 million renovation that could soon connect passengers using Philadelphia’s SEPTA service and those using MARC out of Baltimore.
Patel said he purchased the hotel from Bharet Patel (no relation) through a “friend of a friend of a friend” rather than using a local real estate broker.
The Patels, who have two young daughters, decided to move to Delaware to split the distance between his family in New York and her family in Baltimore. They considered properties in Wilmington, but Patel said they ultimately chose the Newark property because they feel the market is insulated because of the market generators and proximity of the university.
He said they’ve put their other properties up for sale and will be looking at other hospitality or multi-family properties between Philadelphia and Baltimore “once we get our feet on the ground.” He does not anticipate a change in brand ever though he and his wife have operated or developed hotels with a variety of brands including Holiday Inn Express (IAG), Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites (Hilton), and Fairfield Inn (Marriott).