At Mercantile Capital Corporation we want to recognize Narendra and Shetal Patel, as one of our featured clients. They are the owners of Tides Hospitality, LLC dba Hampton Inn & Suites, a newly constructed 164-room hotel located in Orange Country, CA, less than 1 mile from the John Wayne Airport serving southern California. The Hampton Inn & Suites represents the fourth hotel in the couple’s hospitality portfolio and the third property that has been constructed from the ground up.
Ironically, neither Narendra nor Shetal had any desire to own or operate a hotel upon each of them completing their graduate studies. Narendra graduated from the University of California at Berkeley Hastings College of Law and went on to practice with two law firms for approximately 10 years before joining one of his Silicon Valley clients as in-house counsel for an additional two years. After graduating from Southwestern Medical Center at the University of Texas with her Masters, Shetal Patel practiced as a Physician Assistant for a number of years and ultimately became the Medical Director of a medical spa. She then went back to school and earned another Master’s degree, this time in business administration at the University of California, Merage School of Business.
After working for several years in their respective fields and also relocating to southern California from the bay area, the Patels began to think it would be nice to own a business, where they could work with one another. Both of the Patels’ sets of parents had experience in owning and operating hotels, so when an opportunity arose to purchase an existing Holiday Inn Express near their residence in Orange County, they took the plunge into the hospitality business. As part of the purchase agreement the hotel management was to remain in place; however, after a very short period of witnessing operating practices that fell short of expectations, the Patels replaced the existing management team and began to manage the property themselves, despite having almost no previous hospitality management experience. Shetal then enrolled in Hilton’s General Manager training program to gain additional knowledge in the day to day operations of a Hilton property and the Patels built an organization that matched their expectations for professional service and operations.
After owning and operating their initial hotel for 3 years, Narendra began to seek opportunities to acquire a second property to allow the couple to both be able to commit full-time to building a hospitality company. Finding an existing property at a reasonable price in southern California proved to be difficult, so the Patels began to entertain the idea of building a new hotel from the ground up. They purchased a well-located parcel of land in Lake Forest, CA. near the I-405 interchange, and then constructed a 148-room Holiday Inn and Suites that opened in 2009. Narendra found he enjoyed several aspects of the building and development of a new hotel property, including being involved in the location and design from inception, selecting colors and materials within the requirements of the brand, and working with the general contractor to ensure a high level of workmanship and attention detail. This project was also the first time that Narendra and Shetal discovered the benefits of using the SBA 504 loan program, enabling them to limit the amount of capital to be used in constructing the hotel, while preserving funds for pre-opening and operating expenses until the property stabilized.
Having garnered valuable experience in building their first ground-up hotel, the Patels went on to construct a 170-room Hilton Garden, which opened in 2015. Upon completion of this project, Bob Forsyth, President of Pacific West CDC, introduced Mercantile President & CEO, Shannon Marks, to Narendra as he was already completing plans for the ground-up construction of a 174-room Hampton Inn and Suites less than 1 mile from the John Wayne Airport. Mercantile partnered with First Choice Bank, the lead lender originating the first trust deed loan, to provide combined financing of $23.76 million to construct the hotel. The Hampton Inn and Suites opened for business in April of this year and celebrated the occasion with a grand opening event in June.
The Patels never rest on their laurels and the couple is currently finalizing plans for a new 208-room dual brand hotel (Homewood Suites and Hampton Inn) in Lake Forest, near their Holiday Inn and Suites. The proposed dual-brand hotel will be their largest project to date. First Choice Bank and East West Bank, together with Mercantile, will provide the construction financing. We look forward to seeing another beautiful hotel from Narendra and Shetal opening in early 2020. Based on the Patels’ entrepreneurial spirit, they are one our “Fifteen for Fifteen” Award winners.
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