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Group opens an Albany inn

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY, Ga. -- The Inn at Albany Mall has been purchased and reopened by Newnan-based Indusa Investments Inc. Planned improvements and additions, including a new lounge, are due for completion by mid-July.

"We're open with a skeleton staff right now, but we'll have 25 or 30 employees in a few months," said Indusa Chief Operating Officer Umang Patel. "We're working hard to put the finishing touches on everything."

Patel described Indusa as a "boutique private hedge fund, specializing in distressed commercial mortgage-backed securities."

Prior to its purchase by Indusa, the Holiday Inn at Albany Mall, located at 2701 Dawson Road, had been managed by Southeastern Hospitality Group Inc., which had run into money problems, Patel said.

"The Holiday Inn Group pulled their franchise. (The hotel was) operated independently from then until October, and then they

closed," he said. "Indusa purchased the inn the following month."

Patel, who declined to state the purchase price of the hotel, said he and Indusa co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Milan Patel will invest between $500,000 and $700,000 to "revitalize" the property. Ultimately, they expect to refranchise it to a nationally recognized hotel brand. The hotel facility, built in 1988 as a Holiday Inn, was of an innovative design, Patel said. Before that time, nearly all hotels placed their rooms to be accessible directly from the parking lots.

The mall inn was among the first to restrict some room entrances to the interior of a main building or courtyard.

Patel said the newer design allows for more attractive structures and greater guest security. Of the 150 guest rooms at the Inn at Albany Mall, 90 are entered from inside a larger hotel structure.

The Silverleaf Lounge, slated for completion by July 15, is expected to be a major drawing point for the new owners.

"It's a somewhat 'higher-end,' casual atmosphere with middle-of-the-road prices, where regular people can go to relax," Patel said.

Other area acquisitions by the group include The Winery, which was later sold, and The Liqueur Locker, both in Albany. In addition, Indusa holds investment properties in Columbus, McDonough, Auburn, Ala., and other Southern cities.

Indusa was formed in 2003 by Umang Patel and Milan Patel, who met as business school students at the University of Georgia.