Is there room for another inn? There most certainly is if it’s on the way way to the airport.
Three more hotels are underway near the intersection of East Riverside Drive and Ben White Boulevard in the commercial development branded as Airport Commerce Center:
- An $11.25 million Aloft at 8000 E. Ben White Blvd.
- TRU Hotel by Hilton at 7900 E. Ben White Blvd.
- Motel 6/Studio 6 at 1901 Airport Commerce Drive.
HPI Real Estate had planned to build a mostly office and flex space business park there, but hospitality developers had other ideas — and obviously the money and operational relationships to bring more hotels close to the airport.
With airport travel increasing year after year and special events always drawing thousands, the hotel business in most parts of Austin is thriving. No doubt the hotels in the southeast submarket will benefit from expansions at the Met Center and the opening this year of Oracle’s huge campus in the Riverside corridor — as well as Formula 1 racing at Circuit of the Americas this fall.
In recent months three other hotels have delivered at Airport Commerce Center — Best Western Plus, Home2 Suites and Hilton Garden Inn.
Though there are a variety of hotel owners in that area, one person is at the nexus of much of the activity — Vijay Patel. He operates several entities but the company’s umbrella banner is Hohm LLC, which stands for Humble Origins Hospitality Management LLC.
And true to that premise Patel declined to comment any further. He’s a quiet man, obviously, who just goes about his work of building hotels without any boasting or fanfare. Since these hotels are located in strategic locations near the airport, his company’s efforts likely will provide a bonus for the Austin economy. Good hotels, especially recognizable and reputable brands, are needed to fuel the city’s business and tourism trade.
So which hotels are either underway or completed by Hohm LLC?
Aloft, as mentioned previously. It is designed for 136 units.
Motel 6/Studio at 1901 E. Airport Commerce Drive right on the corner of Riverside Drive. Valued at $7 million, the hotel will have 98 keys.
Hilton Garden Inn, which recently opened at 7610 John Glenn Way in Airport Commerce Park. The 149-room hotel cost $9.8 million to build, based on records at the city of Austin development services department.
ABIA Hospitality Inc., an entity formed by Hohm, also built the new Hyatt Place right outside the ABIA terminal.
In a nutshell, there are tons of hotel rooms now near Ben White Boulevard (State Highway 71) and Riverside Drive.
Other recently built ones include Holiday Inn Express at 6711 E. Ben White Blvd. by an entity known as HIAA LP. That same company is in the process of building a Candlewood Suites next door. It appears HIAA LP is owned by Noam LaPlante, who is a custom surfboard maker, according to a Facebook page.
Other new deliveries along Airport Commerce Drive include Best Western Plus owned by Friends Hospitality of Austin and Home2 Suites owned by Unity Hospitality. Both of those companies show an address in Steiner Ranch, which tracks to Nasruddin Mahesania. His LinkedIn information shows he is affiliated with Unity Five Investment LLC.
Don’t forget there are other older hotels in the area — Staybridge Suites, LaQuinta, Courtyard by Marriott, another Holiday Inn Express, Microtel and a Hampton Inn & Suites. Also, a Residence Inn by Marriott opened last year at 3201 Caseybridge Court, just off Ben White. That property was recently purchased by an investor from Norfolk, Nebraska, which is pretty sweet to me.
My dad Ray Buchholz grew up in Norfolk and one of his best friends was Johnny Carson. If my grandmother were still alive I’d have her tell how she had to discipline 7-year-old Johnny one day. His crime? Standing on her dining room table doing magic tricks.
Shazam. I’m outta here.