Upscale hotel, multifamily developments planned in Baton Rouge Health District

Originally published in The Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

Sam Karlin

March 6, 2017

Plans for a new upscale hotel in the burgeoning Baton Rouge Health District are underway, with a group of longtime hotel developers buying two acres of land along Summa Avenue last week.

Ash Patel, whose family business owns and manages four hotels, says construction on the new hotel will begin by the end of the year and be completed by early 2019 if all goes well. The land was purchased through a limited liability company called Summa Lodging, which Ash Patel owns with three other business partners, including Neil Patel, who also runs several hotels throughout the state.

Ash Patel says he envisions a hotel with 140-150 rooms, costing $180 per night. Ash Patel declined to say how much the group purchased the land for and says he cannot yet disclose which flag the hotel will fly. The sale was recorded as $100 “and other good and valuable consideration,” according to sale documents.

He adds that designs are underway and should be finished in the next four months.

“It’s going to go well with the whole Baton Rouge medical area there,” Ash Patel says. “All the other expansions—Bluebonnet, Siegen, Essen—it’s all blown up over the last 10 years.”

DB Midway LLC was the seller. The company is run by developers Brian Dantin and Ross Bruce, who bought 15 acres of land in the area last year for $3.7 million with plans for retail, multifamily and office space developments. The land is located between I-10 and Picardy Avenue.

Dantin says he and Bruce will retain some architectural authority over the hotel’s development. The two currently have an architect crafting plans for the first phase of their mixed-use vision, a high-end multifamily complex with 150 units and 10,000 to 12,000 square feet of retail space at the bottom of the building. Dantin says he hopes to break ground early next year on the project.

Eventually, Dantin says the plan is to develop three to four acres adjacent to the Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital, which is under construction, into build-to-suit office or medical space, or possibly more apartments.

“It’s really right in the heart of Baton Rouge,” Dantin says. “With the health district getting pushed forward, and having that walkability, we’re really excited about being in this area.”

—Sam Karlin