Midland Hotel Fuel heads to United LifeMidland Hotel Fuel heads to United Lifehttps://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/newstalk-texas/?Item=67452013-07-29T08:51:00Z2013-07-29T00:00:00Z

MIDLAND - The old Western United Life Building will be transformed into a high-end hotel — Hotel Fuel.

The building has been vacant for more than ten years. But Mahendra Patel and his son, Sagar Kumar (who heads the investment group JCM Furnishings), saw a vision to use the "beautiful" building for their next project.

The former office space on the corner of West Texas Ave. and Colorado will be open late next year.

In its place will be 142 apartment-like rooms, gyms and meeting rooms on every floor, along with restaurants and retail shops among other lounge space.

"You see an old building that everybody else is saying 'knock it down, tear it down!' They're saying, 'Oh no, let's make it beautiful," Trost said.

According to Patel, there are so many hidden costs when you do remodel work but it costs less than when you're building from scratch. He said that resurrecting a brand new building in this economy would cost about $50 million.

The actual cost for them is about $9 to $10 million. Patel also estimates the hotel will lead to about 50 to 80 permanent jobs, in addition to about 70 temporary construction jobs. The renovation is set to start in October.

Patel has a few hotels in the Midland-Odessa area. Consequentially, he said he is well aware of the market's ups and downs. That is why they have a contingency plan to be able to lease the double-sized rooms out as apartments.

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