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Best Western For City's North End

April 20, 2007
By JEFFREY B. COHEN, Courant Staff Writer

Plans are underway for a multimillion-dollar, eight-story Best Western Inn & Suites on a not-quite-downtown site just north of I-84, a deal that Hartford Mayor Eddie A. Perez said requires no city money.

"They did this with no public subsidy," Perez said Thursday. "It's a straight market deal on Market Street. Couldn't be happier."

Ankit Patel, an owner of several Massachusetts Subway sandwich shops and a partner in some hotel deals, said the Hartford location - visible from both I-91 and I-84 - is ideal for a mid-scale hotel.

Most of the hotels in that area are "high-end facilities," Patel said, "so [we] wanted to do mid-scale."

The hotel could cost between $7 million and $10 million and have roughly 70 rooms in its first phase, Patel and the city said. If the hotel is a success, Patel said, he would consider converting some meeting space into hotel rooms, bringing the total number of rooms up to 84.

Patel bought the property at 370 Market St. last September for $1.15 million. Two buildings on the property could be demolished within three to four months, Perez said.

John F. Palmieri, the city's head of development, said Patel has the financing he needs. "They've come in with a plan, it's a nice product, I think it will complement the other hotels," Palmieri said.

Perez said he likes the mid-scale approach.

"We need a balance of hotels in the city, and we need another hotel," Perez said. "I think that this fits the market niche. It's not a four-star hotel, but it's going to be a good addition and it fills the void in the market."

The hotel's development also plays to Perez's hope that downtown development would spread beyond downtown and north of I-84.

"This actually starts the first domino," Perez said.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
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