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Aloft, but no longer up in the air

Michael Schwartz September 10, 2012 0
Aloft Hotel

The 135-room Aloft Hotel at West Broad Village in Short Pump.

 

A new owner has taken over a Short Pump hotel that has been at the center of multiple lawsuits.

Shamin Hotels, one of Richmond’s biggest hotel owners, last week closed on the Aloft Hotel at West Broad Village.

WB Hotel LLC, an entity tied to Shamin, paid $13.5 million for the property, according to Henrico County land records.

Community Bankers Bank, which was owed millions on a loan by the hotel’s previous owner, is also the lender for Shamin’s purchase of the property, county records show.

The Midlothian-based bank loaned $19 million to Short Pump Hotel Partners LLC in 2008 for the construction of the 135-room hotel at the mixed-use development. The bank sued Short Pump Hotel Partners, which has ties to Chesapeake-based hotel developer and manager LTD Hospitality, in April after it defaulted on the loan. The bank sought to have a judge appoint a receiver to operate the three-year-old hotel.

The purchase by Shamin likely means the resolution of the bank’s suit against the previous owner. The bank had to release its lien on the property to allow Shamin to purchase it free and clear, meaning it accepted the $13.5 million as the payoff on the original loan.

Howard Pisons, a senior vice president at Community Bankers Bank who signed off on Shamin’s purchase, decline to comment on the deal.

Robert Chappell, an attorney with Spotts Fain who is representing the bank, declined to comment.

Allan Heyward, an attorney representing the bank from Cook Heyward Lee Hopper and Feehan, did not return a call seeking comment.

Whatever portion of the $6 million difference the bank might still want will now likely be fought over mainly in federal court, where Community Bankers Bank is suing two North Carolina hotel developers who personally guaranteed the original Aloft loan.

The defendants in the federal case are Ravi Patel and Chandra Patel, who founded and run Charlotte-based SREE Hotels. They are disputing the claims regarding the guarantees and recently filed amended responses to the suit in light of the sale of the property.

The Aloft acquisition adds to Shamin’s local empire, which consists of more than 30 hotels. It also gives the Chester-based company control of two of the newest hotels in the Short Pump area: Shamin built and opened the $48 million, 254-room Hilton Richmond Hotel and Spa near Short Pump Town Center in late 2009. Shamin also owns the nearby Comfort Inn Suites Innsbrook.

Neil Amin, Shamin’s chief executive, declined to comment on the deal.

Shamin’s interest in the West Broad Village property first surfaced last month when the WB Hotel entity was registered with the county and had the same address as the Aloft property.

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