Prominent Tampa philanthropist Dr. Kiran C. Patel and an investment group he leads are in advanced negotiations to sell the 297-room Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown Sarasota.
Patel confirmed the negotiations Monday, May 2 on a call with the Business Observer. He did not disclose who the potential buyer is or what price he hopes to get for the property. But he did say that there are at least “two or three other” investors interested in buying the hotel.
“We’ll have to see where things go,” Patel says.
Sarasota Hotel Acquisition Group, led by Patel, bought the waterfront property at 1000 Boulevard of the Arts in 2016 for $57.8 million according to county property records. Although that was considered a record sale price at the time, it is a pittance by today’s standards where it’s not uncommon for luxury and waterfront hotel properties to well exceed the $100 million mark. Nearly two weeks ago the Inn on Fifth in Naples sold for $156 million.
Patel began thinking about selling the property during the COVID-19 pandemic when the lockdown brought the tourism industry in Florida — and the world — to its knees. In April 2020 the hotel was forced to furlough 114 employees.
But if mounting losses led to the decision to the sale, it's skyrocketing hotel price that solidified it.
Although it is unclear who the potential buyer might be, one possibility is Kolter Hospitality, a division of the Kolter Group. The company has been actively buying up hotels in the area. In April the group bought the 18-story Embassy Suites by Hilton Sarasota in downtown, a few blocks from the Hyatt, its fourth property on Florida’s west coast and second in Sarasota.
A spokesperson for Kolter did not respond to a request for comment.
Patel is a cardiologist, a philanthropist and an entrepreneur. He founded and was chair of WellCare of Florida, one of the largest HMOs in the country, until he sold it in 2002 for $200 million. According to the website for his family’s interests, his businesses include luxury real estate development, medical software, healthcare solutions, restaurants and commercial property acquisition and management.
Last year he opened The Dr. Kiran C. Patel Elementary School, a public, tuition-free elementary school in Tampa.
Prior to Patel’s group buying the Hyatt Regency Sarasota, it was owned by the Blackstone Group which bought it May 2007. Blackstone invested $22 million into the hotel the following year when it was upgraded to a “Regency” flag by Hyatt Hotel Corp.
The previous owners had added an 11,000-square-foot ballroom to the property.