A day after Indian Hotels Corporation Limited (IHCL), popularly known as Taj Hotels, acquired the licensing rights to The Connaught hotel at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Marg, the rights to another hotel situated in Lutyen’s Delhi have been successfully auctioned off by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC). Imperativ Hospitality Private Limited (IHPL) has bought the rights to the hotel property at 1, Janpath Lane, formerly known as Hotel Asian International, on a 33-year lease in an e-auction on Thursday.
IHPL is a Delhi-based company which operates the Bloom Hotel Group, a growing group targeting the mid-market segment as its customer base. This acquisition gives IHPL its fourth hotel property in Delhi.
“Central Delhi has limited accommodation for the value conscious traveller. With this hotel, we aim to provide a world class product to domestic and international guests,” said Mr Sanjeev Sethi, COO of Bloom Hotel Group.
The 612.4 square metre hotel property has seven-stories, comprising 38 rooms. The licensing rights to the hotel had expired in 2007, and it was sealed in February 2015 over non-payment of licensing fees amounting to Rs 56 crore.
Subsequent attempts by the NDMC to auction off the property have been mired in difficulties. Its first unsuccessful attempt was in 2016, when it tried to rent it for a Request for Proposal (RFP) of Rs 61.88 lakh per month. With buyers uninterested, the reserve price was brought down to Rs 28.73 lakh, and then to Rs. 14.4 lakh, which raised suspicions that this was being done to favour a particular hospitality company.
In January 2017, it auctioned off the property for 15 times its existing lease amount in an auction which attracted 15 bidders. The auction fetched Rs 45.48 lakh per month as opposed to the existing lease amount of Rs 3 lakh. However, this was retracted as the bidder failed to comply with the bid’s terms and conditions.