New 229-room co-branded hotel will serve Alameda, Oakland Airport
County officials, City department heads and staff, friends, family, and members of Alameda’s business community gathered Tuesday morning on Harbor Bay Parkway on Bay Farm Island to celebrate the long-awaited groundbreaking of a major new hotel. Located by the intersection of Ron Cowan Parkway, the new 229-room hotel will be co-branded as both a Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites.
The project is spearheaded by Mississippi-based Southern Hospitality Services (SHS), which has a portfolio of properties located mostly in Louisiana and Mississippi. They are also developing a co-branded hotel like this Alameda project in Hoover, Alabama.
The company was formed in 2010, according to its website. “Working closely with city officials and local business owners, SHS operates to add value to the communities we serve,” the site states. “With over 50 years of experience in the hotel development industry, we are able to efficiently design, finance, build, and operate each of our properties.”
For this project, SHS is collaborating with Akshar Development, a California-based builder and developer. The companies are closely aligned; the founder and CEO of SHS, Ramesh ‘Roy’ Patel, is father to Akshar CEO Vijay Patel as well as CFO Vishal ‘BJ’ Patel, who is also the COO of the West Region for Southern Hospitality. This will be their second hotel collaboration in the Bay Area—the first is a Home2Suites in South San Francisco.
In an email to the Alameda Post, BJ Patel shared how welcoming the community has been. He stated that the new hotel is designed to meet the needs of both short-term travelers and extended stays and will offer upscale accommodations to Alameda visitors and those traveling to the Oakland airport. The combined Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites hotel will include a restaurant for guests as well as the public, including a full bar, and will provide a meeting space for events. The hotel will offer more than 130,000 square feet, with an estimated construction budget of $42 million.
“It is great to see another hotel coming because it’s well-needed here,” said Madlen Saddik, President and CEO of Alameda Chamber and Economic Alliance, said during her opening remarks to an audience of approximately 75 people.
The morning’s programming continued with a prayer from Shetal Patel, Southern Hospitality’s VP of Operations in California, followed by remarks from Abby Thorne-Lyman, director of the City’s Base Reuse and Economic Development Department (BREDD).
“Tourism and hospitality is a really important sector to the City of Alameda,” Thorne-Lyman said, “and we’re thrilled with the contributions that Southern Hospitality Services is making to the family of hotels in the city. This hotel will play such a critical role in supporting the businesses in the City of Alameda as well as the Oakland Airport.”
Founder and CEO Roy Patel spoke next, and his enthusiasm was barely restrained. “We’ve been on this land for 17 years and finally it’s happening!” he declared. Next at the podium were his sons Vijay and BJ Patel, as well as representatives from Tri Counties Bank, which financed the project, Hilton Hotels, and Homewood Suites.
Their remarks were followed by the groundbreaking ceremony, which was performed several times to include City staff and County officials in attendance, members of the project team, and the Alameda Chamber. Construction is anticipated to be complete within 20 to 22 months.