Garden Plaza Hotel sold, to be converted into more than 200 apartments | Business


Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the group was planning to use low-income tax credits. It has since been corrected.

The former Garden Plaza Hotel & Conference Center north of Lafayette has been sold and will be converted into more than 200 apartments later this year.

Based in Covington Servio Capital and other investors bought the 244-unit hotel that served as one of three full-service hotels in the Lafayette area, but which went into foreclosure last year when the hotels struggled during the coronavirus pandemic. The purchase is one of several nationwide that have been subject to foreclosure or have been sold at a reduced rate in the wake of the pandemic.

The group, CPR Holdings, bought the property at 2032 NE Evangeline Thruway from Home Bank for $ 2.4 million from the bank after it was foreclosed in November under the former owner, Golden LA Properties, according to records.

The group hopes to convert the old Holiday Inn hotel into 217 units without using tax credits for low-income people and use it as housing for employees of Amazon or the PPE manufacturer in Broussard, who don’t has yet to be announced, which could involve at least a total of 1,000 workers.

“I’ve been a real estate investor for over 20 years, and we did very well after the 2008 real estate crash with the foreclosure market,” said Ryan Enk, CEO of Servio. “It’s the same thing, but bigger. The hotels are crushed. People meet less and the Garden Plaza has really thrived thanks to the meetings. “

The plans are to create mainly one-bedroom apartments with a few two-bedroom units. The large meeting room and other indoor spaces will be converted into amenities such as an indoor theater, games room, cafe and pickleball / sports area.

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The pool and hot tub will be kept in designs, which could take six months to build. The development will also be closed.

The design will be similar to the development of Plato’s Cave in Branson, Missouri, Enk said. Investors converted the old Days Inn into a 170-unit apartment complex.

“We just see an opportunity in the market to solve two problems,” he said. “One is the need for affordable housing, and with the costs of wood and construction, we can’t create places fast enough for people to live in. There is certainly a housing crisis in the United States. In Lafayette, (Amazon and Ochsner) will accommodate 15,000 people in five years. “

The closure of the Garden Plaza comes after the Wyndham Garden Hotel, 1801 W. Pinhook Road, also closed, leaving the DoubleTree by Hilton Lafayette as the city’s only full-service hotel, said Ben Berthelot, president and CEO of Lafayette Travel.

Several hotels across the country have been converted into apartments or offices after the industry was ravaged by the pandemic. Almost 20% of American hotels with securitized mortgages were behind on their loans in November, according to the Wall Street Journal.

That, combined with some markets that have oversized – some in Lafayette’s market have indicated there are too many basic hotels for its size – means more hotels will be reused for other uses. Enk said his group hopes to have $ 100 million in acquisitions over the next two years.

“We don’t want to see anyone’s business hurt, but that’s what it is,” Enk said. “These things turn into landfills, stay vacant, or turn into destroyed properties. We plan to revive these properties. “

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