The owner of a LoDo hotel sued last week for missing a $5.5 million loan payment due to the former owner says the lawsuit is just a negotiating tactic meant to squeeze better terms.
Amin Suliaman told BusinessDen that while he did miss a payment due in May for his purchase of the Nativ Hotel, he was in discussions with the previous owner, Jon Hamilton, for an extension. He said he was working to get bank financing and thought an extension was forthcoming.
“The communication deteriorated,” Suilaman said, adding, “We were 90 days from refinancing.”
Suliaman said that if the previous owner wanted the property, they could foreclose – which they aren’t doing, he said.
“It’s real estate 101 … if you have a mortgage and don’t pay loans, they seek to foreclose.”
Suliaman bought the property in 2018 for $6 million with a loan from Hamilton.
Suliaman said he invested around $2 million into the property to update the rooms, common areas and restaurant/club. The hotel is performing well, he said, with an average daily rate around $220 and occupancy running at 90 percent. “We’ve been able to get our food and beverage numbers up, too,” he said.
But he said the lawsuit will harm his ability to quickly refinance the loan in question. He also said several of the other smaller claims in the lawsuit are off base, including an allegation that he didn’t have insurance on the property.
“I thought we had the extension deal done. It blew up at the 11th hour,” Suliaman said, adding that now he is seeking nontraditional lending that will carry a higher interest rate than a bank loan.
“The timing doesn’t make a lot of sense. I was set to get his loan paid off.”