Property purchased for new hotel

Tony Parra

TNJ Management on Wednesday purchased the property of the Hillcrest Motel off of U.S. 70, where they plan to build a 70-room hotel by 2005, city officials confirmed.
Mayor Orlando Ortega and Kim Huffman, chairman of the Roosevelt Community Development Corporation, confirmed on Wednesday that TNJ Management has closed the deal on the property and is ready to begin construction on a new hotel in late spring, early summer.
The city of Portales and TNJ Management came to an agreement on the city contributing $61,000 to help in the construction of the new hotel.
City officials say the money will be paid back in jobs and gross receipts taxes in the first year of the hotel’s operation.
“Today is a big day for Portales,” Huffman said. “It’s a great day for the university, for tourism, for all of Portales. There’s so many times in the year when visitors were unable to stay in Portales. There was no where to go. There were not enough rooms.”
Officials with TNJ Management gave city officials a verbal agreement on the incentives package at the end of January, according to city officials.
Tushar Patel, developer with TNJ Management, said in January that TNJ Management is in it’s preliminary process of building the hotel. The management group will concentrate on demolition, blueprints and franchise tag agreements before they break ground, according to Patel.
Patel could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.
Huffman said the hotel will be a three-story hotel with 70 rooms, an indoor pool and exercise room. He verified that TNJ Management officials have already selected an architect.
“Patel has built 35 or 40 hotels in the southwest,” Huffman said. “He’s (Patel) got a great track record. He is well-respected and has done beautiful work.”
City officials boast that the returns from their $61,000 investment will provide prompt dividends.
“Any money owed to the city will be made back and more by the end of the first year,” Huffman said. “In an amazing short amount of time additional money will be made over what he was contracted for.”
The city of Portales has a process for prospective business in which the prospective businesses show their benefits to Portales.
“This is part of the process that is requested through the economic development act,” Ortega said. “He (Patel) shows the projections of the first, second and third years of the project. Taxpayers pay 1/8 cent gross receipt tax and we use it as a tool for economic development.”