Pittsfield Hilton Garden Inn sold 3 years after opening

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PITTSFIELD — Three years after opening one of the first new hotels in Pittsfield in 17 years, lodging entrepreneur Vijay Mahida has sold the 95-room Hilton Garden Inn on South Street for $7.7 million.

Three separate entities with ties to Eastern Massachusetts are the new owners, according to documents filed at the Middle Berkshire Registry of Deeds in Pittsfield.

It could not be determined Thursday if the new owners will keep the hotel affiliated with Hilton. Ashok Patel, a spokesman for the new ownership group, did not return a telephone call seeking comment.

The new owners own several lodging establishments between Boston and Springfield and throughout New England, according to Mahida.

"I was approached by the buyer, who has been expanding across the state and seemed to be a good fit for the hotel and for the Berkshires," he said in a statement. "When they promptly offered a fair total price, I accepted their offer which enables me to focus on my other lodging activities.

"I will continue to be active in the Berkshire lodging market which is an important contributor to the economic strength of the Berkshires," he said.

Mahida also owns the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Great Barrington, and is planning to build a 100-suite hotel in Lenox, and an 88-room boutique hotel in Great Barrington.

The city had placed a tax lien on the Hilton after Mahida's company, Prem Management of Great Barrington, failed to pay the $286,630 in property tax revenue that it owed for fiscal 2018, and an additional $1,809 in utility costs, according to documents filed with the city. Prem also had been billed $135,375 for property tax revenue for the first quarter of fiscal 2019, which hasn't officially been issued yet.

All those financial issues were resolved Thursday, the day after the sale officially closed, according to the Pittsfield tax collector's office. The new owners are now current with their tax and utility obligations to the city up to the second quarter of fiscal 2019; the second-quarter tax bills won't be released by the city until Nov. 1.

In a telephone interview, Mahida said there were "multiple reasons" for the tax issues involving the Hilton Garden Inn, but he did not go into detail.

"I think this was a good time to move on," he said. "This group was a good fit."

His Lenox and Great Barrington hotel projects are moving forward.

"I will continue to be active in the lodging market in the Berkshires," Mahida said. "Everything else runs on its own separate track. Lenox will start next year."

The new owners are S&H Hotel Lenox LLC, Jenica Hospitality LLC and JSM Hotels LLC.. S&H and Jenica each will own 45 percent of the hotel, and JSM will own the remaining 10 percent.

S&H and JSM are managed by Nilesh Patel of Quincy, while Jenica is a New Hampshire-based limited liability company with an office in Massachusetts that is managed by Suresh Limbachia of Lexington, according to documents filed with the state Secretary of State's Office.

Limbachia's address in Lexington also is the address for Jamsan Hotel Management, a midsize national hotel management company that works with several national hotel brands and manages a variety of hotels in the Northeast.

The $7.7 million sale price represents the value of the real estate, Mahida said. The actual purchase price is confidential, he added. The value of the 2.3-acre lot located above Guido's Fresh Marketplace is assessed at $6.5 million by the city of Pittsfield. The three ownership entities have obtained a $6.15 million mortgage on the property with South Shore Bank of South Weymouth, according to registry documents.

Mahida began his career in the lodging industry in Pittsfield after emigrating to the United States from his native India 24 years ago. He began building the Hilton Garden Inn in 2013. The entire project took 2 1/2 years to complete: construction was delayed due to a legal matter that involved access to a common right of way to the hotel's site. The Hilton Garden Inn and Hotel on North, which also opened in 2015, were the first new hotels built in Pittsfield since 1998.

The Hilton Garden Inn's restaurant recently was taken over by Berkshire restaurateur Jae Chung, who moved his eatery on Winter Street in Pittsfield to the hotel about two months ago. Chung did not return a telephone call seeking comment, but a restaurant employee said she believed the eatery would remain at the hotel under the new ownership group.

Business Editor Tony Dobrowolski can be reached at tdobrowolski@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6224.


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