AN ASIAN AMERICAN owned company has completed the first modular-built hotel in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Home2 Suites by Hilton San Francisco Airport North is owned by Sri Krishna Enterprises and managed by Southern Hospitality Services under CEO and President Ramesh “Roy” Patel.
Sri Krishna Enterprises is an affiliate of Southern Hospitality Services.
The new 155-unit Home2 Suites is also the first modular-built hotel for the Home2 brand. In modular construction, parts of the building called modules are constructed off site, usually containing entire rooms with furnishings, and the “stacked” onsite. In the case of this building, using the technique allowed the building to be completed, from groundbreaking to opening, in 16 months.
“Thanks to its high demand but equally high barriers to entry, San Francisco is an ideal market to introduce our cutting-edge modular-build concept,” said Home2 Suites Global Head Adrian Kurre.
There were several reasons Flowood, Mississippi-based Southern Hospitality Services decided to use the modular technique, said BJ Patel, who runs the company’s Redwood City, California, office.
“First, the quality of the product because it is built in an enclosed environment; acoustic-wise, there is nothing better,” Patel said previously. “Second, the construction timeline is shorter. You know the saying ‘Time is money?’ In construction it is real money. And, third, in the Bay Area we have had a hard time finding enough skilled construction workers to complete a job. It is next to impossible.
“All in all, going modular made sense for us,” he said.
Not necessarily cheaper, though. The new Home2 cost around $40 million, including the cost of the land, but Patel said the speed to market was the biggest selling point for the modular technique. And considering the fact that San Francisco’s tourism numbers grew by 3 percent in 2018 to a record 26.3 million visitors, according to San Francisco Travel, the market is worth entering.
The new hotel also features eco-friendly features, such as solar panels which produce close to 50 percent of the hotel’s energy and a bio-retention pond that filters water run-off to reduce the property’s overall carbon footprint. It also is pet-friendly. It is located near downtown San Francisco, the Moscone Center and transportation centers for BART and Caltrain. A complimentary shuttle service to San Francisco International Airport is also available.
Other companies are using modular construction more, too. In April, Marriott International announced Concord Hospitality would build the tallest hotel constructed using the building technique. Robert Chun is owner of the AC Hotel New York NoMad, which is scheduled to open in late 2020. It will feature a 360-foot-tall tower that will be stacked over 90 days, according to Marriott. It will come with a modular roof and modular rooftop bar.
The AC Hotel in Oklahoma City is a modular-built property. NewcrestImage, led by Mehul Patel, is the developer, owner and operator. It opened in 2017.
Courtyard by Marriott opened in Pullman, Washington, two years ago. Stonebridge Companies is the developer, owner and operator. Navin Dimond is founder and CEO of Stonebridge.
Eric Jacobs, Marriott’s chief development officer for the company’s select-service and extended-stay brands in North America, told Bloomberg News in April that by 2025 modular-built hotels will comprise 25 percent of franchiser’s pipeline.