|By Gracie Shepherd, The Augusta
Chronicle, Ga.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Aug. 25, 2011--Augusta hotel developer T.R. Reddy sold his first "green" hotel last week, a Comfort Inn and Suites on Noland Connector near Fort Gordon.
The hotel was bought by Masters Hotels Group LLC, a three person partnership, for $3.7 million, according to Richmond County property records.
Reddy built the hotel in 2009, using energy-saving devices and solar panels to earn a "supports green practices" designation from the Choice hotel brand, Comfort Inn and Suites' parent company.
There are six rows of pipes 200 feet underneath the hotel that make up the geothermal cooling system, Reddy said. One set of solar panels on the roof of the overhang provide some electrical power. The hotel cost $4 million to build, 25 percent more than it would have without the energy-saving devices, but Reddy said he thought it would be worth it in the long run.
"That made it attractive to the customers," Reddy said.
Shan Sundaram is one of the partners with Masters Hotels Group, and he is a former employee of Reddy's. When the group was looking for a hotel, he thought of the Comfort Inn and Suites and they looked at figures to see how profitable the hotel was.
"I looked at the numbers, and it was looking good," Sundaram said.
The hotel received a Choice Gold Hospitality Award this year, an award given to only 180 hotels within the Choice brand.
"That's what I like to do with hotels," Reddy said. "I get it running, make it profitable and then sell it."
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