Baltimore, MD - August 9, 2018 - Blue Ocean’s recent announcement of being under contract to acquire the Pikesville DoubleTree Hilton, as well as the adjacent office/retail and tennis/fitness buildings, by this fall, has Baltimore buzzing.
The Blue Ocean property management company already has a strong presence locally, managing ~2,000 apartments in the immediate area. This acquisition will substantially add to, and solidify its Pikesville real estate portfolio. The hotel is expected to retain the DoubleTree flag for the foreseeable future. By the close of the deal, Blue Ocean expects to have completed its concept planning and related design work, which will include many enhancements and improvements.
As Blue Ocean President Jonathan Ehrenfeld told the Baltimore Business Journal, “We were drawn to the opportunity primarily because of its strategic location and its large size of almost 10 acres. The property’s location at I-695 and Reisterstown Rd is especially unique and brings with it all kinds of potential and possibilities.”
Although because of the pending sale status Mr. Ehrenfeld is limited as to what he is able share at this point, he did say that his company is anxious to roll up its sleeves and invest the time, energy and financial resources necessary to improve the property in a very meaningful way.
In an exclusive Baltimore Jewish Life (BJL) interview, I questioned Mr. Ehrenfeld about just some possible improvements that would make the Pikesville Double Tree Hilton particularly attractive to Kashrus and Shabbos observant guests. These included the possibility of being under kosher certification, offering a kosher Continental breakfast, and accommodating guests with regard to electronic locks and doors; Sabbath-friendly guest room entry; electric sensors for lights and heating/air conditioning; electric eye-controlled bathrooms; motion-sensitive hallway and room lights; Shabbos elevator; and, Shabbos candle lighting.
Mr. Ehrenfeld responded, “Yes, we expect to have a kosher kitchen. We are still looking into the various Hashgacha options at this time, including the Star-K. The other items are certainly a consideration but we have yet to finalize any specific plans. In general, I would say that we are looking to create a ‘kosher friendly’ environment. Given the hotel’s unique location, adjacent to the Pikesville Orthodox Jewish community and Ner Israel Rabbinical College, we recognize that there are many opportunities to make the venue more of an asset to this segment of the community as well as the many related businesses and organizations that are looking for ‘kosher’ options. We anticipate that we will be able to satisfy this need under the new ownership and management at the Pikesville DoubleTree.”
When asked Mr. Ehrenfeld about Blue Ocean’s intention to be competitive with current wedding package incentives, he explained, “We don’t have any specific packages in mind and we certainly have no specific intention to compete with another local venue. Much will be determined in the coming months. It is still early in the process.”
Baltimore Jewish Life wishes Blue Ocean much hatzlacha in its new endeavor!