Petroleum businessman drops $24M on Hotel Versey in Lakeview

Chicago-based George Nediyakalayil and Itasca-based NexGen Hotels acquired the 137-key hotel at 644 West Diversey Parkway earlier this month

Gas Magnate Nediyakalayil Buys Chicago’s Hotel Versey for $24M
Gas Depot Oil Company's George Nediyakalayil with the Versey Hotel in Chicago (CBRE, LinkedIn)

A Chicago-based petroleum businessman and real estate investor, has bought another hotel — this time the Hotel Versey in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, bordering Lincoln Park.

George Nediyakalayil purchased the 137-key boutique hotel, at 644 West Diversey Parkway, through an LLC for $24 million earlier this month. That’s a little over $175,000 per key. Nediyakalayil bought the property in partnership with NexGen Hotels, an Itasca-based development and management company whose principal, Hardik Patel, was also named as the property’s owner in business records.

They used a $22.5 million mortgage from an LLC that shares an address with Atlanta-based Peachtree Group to fund the acquisition, property records show.

The previous owner is an affiliate of New York-based Garrison Investment Group, which is no longer operating. The hotel was managed by John Rutledge’s Oxford Hotels & Resorts. The sale price cleared Garrison’s $20.5 million mortgage it had taken out against the property in 2019, from Western Alliance Bank, records show.

The hotel was doing well when the former owner decided to sell, according to a news release from CBRE group, whose brokers Nate Sahn, James Foxx, Nicholas Endre, Marcello Campanini, and Adam Foret represented the seller.

The buyers own other hotels in the Chicago area, Sahn said.

Nediyakalayil is the CEO of Chicago-based Gas Depot Oil Company, a Midwestern gas station operator and petroleum distributor, according to the company’s website.

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He has a history of investing in hotels. In December Nediyakalayil paid $29 million for Even Hotel Miami – Airport, a 190-key hotel in Miami. He also developed a 99-room Hyatt Place hotel in Wicker Park, on the site of a former gas station he owned, that was completed in 2019.

NexGen has placed the Hotel Versey under the management of Genuine Hospitality Group, based in St. Louis.

“The Hotel Versey has been on our radar for a long time, as it is steeped in rich hospitality tradition that dates back to the 1920s,” Chris Patel, president of NexGen Hotels, told Hotel Online. “We hope to continue on with this tradition with this completely one-of-a-kind hotel.”

The four-story Versey Hotel was built in 1925 and opened the same year, according to CBRE. The four-story hotel is within walking distance of Lake Michigan, Lincoln Park Zoo and Wrigley Field.

Before it was rebranded by Oxford Hotels & Resorts, the hotel was known as the “Rock and Roll Days Inn,” due to its origins as the home of former jazz musician Bix Beiderbecke. The hotel has hosted many rock star guests including Nirvana, Radiohead and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Rutledge’s firm led a rebrand of the hotel in 2017, naming it for the building’s historic V-shape and prominent location at the junction of Diversey, Broadway and Clark Street.

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