Bid minimums have been set and property tours are under way at Nik Patel's former hotels, including three in Orlando, the final steps before the properties head to auction in July.
The three area hotels are in different parts of Orlando and in varying conditions, with two currently closed.
The one that is open is The DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando East, a 242-room full-service hotel at 12125 High Tech Ave., near the University of Central Florida. Bidding starts at $8.5 million, with a required bid deposit of $100,000. The property was last sold for $15.57 million in June 2013 to Alena Hospitality, Patel's company. The hotel sits on nine acres, was built in 1987 and initially operated as a Holiday Inn.
After acquiring the hotel, Alena undertook and completed a six-month renovation of the property at a reported cost of $10.2 million. The hotel opened as a DoubleTree in August 2014.
Also being auctioned is the former Sheraton Downtown Orlando Hotel, with 290 rooms, at 400 W. Livingston St. The hotel is across the street from the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center and Creative Village.
Alena Hospitality bought the hotel for $3.25 million in February 2014, according to the Orange County Property Appraiser's office. Bidding starts at $4.5 million. The required bid deposit is $25,000.
The 14-story structure, which sits on 3.6 acres, was built in 1986, and was undergoing renovations when it closed. "By investing in the full-service hotel-Orlando Downtown, buyers have the opportunity to acquire a hotel with excellent 'bones,"' the offering document states.
The Crowne Plaza, a 246-room full-service hotel at 12490 Apopka-Vineland Road in Orlando, is also vacant, and carries a $6.5 million starting bid.
The seven-story hotel is on 3.85 acres within walking distance of downtown Disney. The property opened in 1973 and was acquired by Alena Hospitality in March 2013. Alena started renovations and it's estimated another $500,000 is needed to complete the work.
Also being auctioned is a 148-room full-service hotel at 50 Kenny Place in Saddle Brook, N.J., and a 272-room full-service hotel at 500 Hamilton Blvd. in Peoria, Ill.
Patel bought and worked on several hotel properties in Orlando and other areas until late September. That's when he was arrested on federal charges of fraudulently selling $150 million in loans to Milwaukee-based finance company Pennant Management, the Orlando Sentinel reported. He was released on $100,000 bond.
The hotels are being auctioned off to provide money to creditors and satisfy claims against Patel.
Since tours of the hotels started a couple of weeks ago there has been "a lot of interest," said Paul Sexton, vice president of HREC Investment Advisors, the listing broker. "In part, it's because there is not a lot of this kind of property and location available in Orlando anymore."
The auction takes place starting July 20 and ends July 22.