› Job: Chief executive officer of Chattanooga-based 3H Group Hotels
› 2018 distinction: 3H Group developed the newly opened Moxy Hotel on Chattanooga’s Southside downtown. Desai also is an investor in the purchase of the former Alstom property off Riverfront Parkway among other downtown holdings.
Chattanooga hotelier Hiren Desai is an investor in some of the most high-profile real estate downtown.
Desai wooed Marriott and convinced the company to sign off on the construction of the new, hip Moxy Hotel in downtown's Southside. The $19 million, 108-room boutique hotel at Market and King streets is the first in the Southeast. One of fewer than 10 nationally, all the others are in much larger cities, according to the hotel group.
Desai is also a sizable investor in other downtown property, such as in the 10-story Edney Building, which is the hub of Chattanooga's Innovation District.
Potentially his biggest bet is as part of West End Property LLC where Desai, along with Chattanoogan Jimmy White, has purchased the former Alstom production plant and its 112 acres on the riverfront near the central city with plans to reuse or redevelop the site.
The Alstom property includes a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold Certified, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility with specialized equipment. Other space is seen as holding offices or new housing.
Desai says the existing infrastructure on the former Alstom site is unlike any other property in the Southeast.
"It's unique riverfront with a sophisticated plant and endless accessibility," says Desai. "It's time for activity to be happening in this district. We see the West End as the next frontier for Chattanooga, and its revitalization is going to attract jobs and visitors from all over."