Moves and Expansions: Hilton Garden Inn Comes to Gallatin

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It’s full steam ahead for Hemel Surati. The Gallatin business owner and developer has cleared every hurdle in the journey to making the ambitious Bakers Crossing project a reality. The first shovel of dirt was turned in May 2017 and the initial phase of the project, which includes a Hilton Garden Inn and convention center, is expected to be complete by the end of 2018.  

Though the start date for the project’s second phase is undetermined, plans include a boutique-style hotel with condos on upper floors and retail space on the street level. “We’re evaluating a number of different hotel brands,” says Surati. “A boutique hotel will be a great asset for the area.” 

Surati says his company plans to make Gallatin its home base for the hotel development arm of his family’s company, which is currently wrapping up 14 hotel projects in Pennsylvania. The Bakers Crossing project will be a model for more like it in other cities. “Everyone wants to be in ‘it’ cities like Nashville and that has sent real estate prices through the roof,” he says. “Our goal is to enter smaller markets where the cost of land is lower so we can spend most of our money on the actual development project. We will be the guys who do one or two projects per year with these projects being drivers for growth in every market we enter.”   

As a Gallatin businessman, Surati is used to working closely with local entrepreneurs and looks forward to the opportunity to forge mutually beneficial partnerships. “We are totally open to joint ventures,” he notes. “If someone in town says he has a concept for a cool restaurant, we are willing to sit down and talk.”