By Chris Cox
Published Aug. 27, 2015
Columbia hotelier Rick Patel said he plans to build three more hotels in the downtown area.
Plans are in the works for properties on Main, Sumter and Elmwood streets, he said. Patel, the president of Sejwad Hotels and owner the Sheraton Downtown Columbia Hotel, declined to specify where those businesses would be located.
“It’s ink on the paper,” he said.
One hotel has already signed on, and two are left to finalize their plans. He said he will soon go before the Board of Zoning Appeals and the Design/Development Review Commission for approval once things settle down at his other ongoing projects.
“Our state's top industry, tourism, is on track to have a banner year, spurred by a significant increase in investments, growth and job creation,” said John Durst, president and CEO of the S.C. Restaurant and Lodging Association. “One clear and recent example of that upward trend is the investment longtime hotelier Rick Patel and his partners are making in three Midlands-area hotels.
“We could not be more pleased about the strong, positive messages signaled by this investment, and dozens of others like it, across this region.”
Patel also said the Columbia Smiles Dentistry, currently located in Cayce, will open on the sixth floor of the former Keenan Building on Oct. 15. The 10-story building at Sumter and Lady Streets, which overlooks the state capitol, has also started construction on 45 new apartments that will reside in the property.
His company purchased the high-rise, now dubbed Palmetto State Life Building, with a partnership in 2013.
Patel is finalizing contracts to get its exterior completed. The property is still looking for additional tenants, he said.
Another one of his projects, the redevelopment of the Clarion Hotel on Gervais Street, is also ongoing, where a 230-room Hilton Garden Inn and Home 2 Suites is projected to open next May, Patel said. The property will also house a Chili’s restaurant.
Patel has been a busy man of late. Next week he will also unveil his new Starbucks coffee shop beneath the Sheraton, one of many ongoing renovations occurring at the Main Street property.
“Just got to hit the gas,” he said.
Reach Chris Cox at 803-726-7545 or on Twitter @chrisbcox.