SCHENECTADY – A New Jersey man is looking to enter the local hotel business that has been battered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A plan is in the works for Danny Alasha of Wall, New Jersey to purchase the Days Inn-branded hotel at 157 Nott Terrace from Navin Patel for $1.95 million.
Patel bought the hotel in 2010 for $3.6 million, according to city records.
A request for a change of ownership is set to go before the city Planning Commission Wednesday night.
Although a Days Inn sign in the parking lot overlooks the hotel, Alasha said in an interview the national chain detached from the Schenectady business about a year ago. The front-desk worker who answered the phone referred to the business as the “Schenectady Inn.”
If approved, Alasha said the sign will come down shortly after he takes ownership and he will operate it as Schenectady Inn and Suites.
Patel declined to comment when reached Tuesday.
According to public records of the U.S. Small Business Administration paycheck protection program, Patel’s hotel, under the limited liability corporation Nemil Hospitality, received two small loans during the pandemic – a $29,642 loan in April 2020 that was forgiven earlier this year, and a $32,553 loan in February.
In March 2019, Patel, of Springfield, Massachusetts, went before the Planning Commission to request an extensive renovation that would have gutted, rebuilt and expanded the building at a cost of about $5 million, then finished and furnished at a cost of perhaps $1 million more.
But those plans never materialized.
Alasha pledged not to be what he said was an out-of-state, absentee owner. He said he plans to move to the Schenectady area, no more than a couple of miles from the hotel, while managing the business.
“I’m more hands on, so I plan to keep things consistent, but just trying to deliver better service.”
Alasha said he does not operate hotels elsewhere, but was drawn to the 68-room Schenectady business because it is more affordable than options in his home state.
“I’ve been looking for a hotel for for the past four years,” he said. “It’s very, very tough in New Jersey – very saturated around where I am in Monmouth County. Hotels go for about $75,000 a room. So there’s more opportunity in the outer parts of the Tri-State area.”
Alasha said he has been involved in the hospitality industry, as an owner of two restaurants for about nine years, and he said he’s owned residential rental properties, including Airbnb units, the past 15 years.
If the commission approves the change of ownership request without conditions, Alasha said he expects the transaction to close within a few days.
“If there are conditions, then obviously we’ll fulfill those and try to close,” he said.
Alasha said he doesn’t have any immediate plans for improving the property.
“There’s going to be very little change in the beginning,” he said. “Maybe a year or two down the road I’ll do a somewhat major renovation to the interior. But for now, we’ll keep things consistent and just work on the service and not really the property.”