At an open house Thursday afternoon for the WaterWalk Hotel Apartments, hotelier Jack DeBoer said his company has leased all of the building’s unfurnished, one-, two- and three-bedroom units, and he has 35 franchise deals in the pipeline for his flexible-lease apartment — and now, hotel — concept, the first one of which opened at 411 Maple last fall.
He said he expects construction on WaterWalk Hotel Apartments franchise projects to begin this year in Tulsa, San Antonio and Louisville, Ky.
“I’m more than happy,” DeBoer said in an interview. “The response has been incredible, both from the guest side and franchisees.”
DeBoer said all of the the unfurnished apartments have been leased for terms of a year or more.
Meanwhile, 61 furnished units in the 133-unit, three-story building are now considered the hotel part of the concept. “One day, one week, one month,” DeBoer said of the lengths of stay for the furnished units. Those units also can be leased with such amenities as prepared breakfasts delivered weekly, fully equipped kitchens, housekeeping and concierge services such as grocery delivery and local transportation.
He described the latest iteration of the WaterWalk Hotel Apartments as an example of what he’s learned from the four earlier hotel concepts and brands he started: Residence Inn, now owned by Marriott; Summerfield Suites, now owned by Hyatt; Candlewood Suites, now owned by IHG; and Value Place.
“It takes all the things we’ve done and puts it in one building,” DeBoer said.
The apartment building opened in early September under the WaterWalk name and in lieu of Value Place Apartments, which was how the complex and concept were envisioned.
Work on the $10 million project began in July 2013.
DeBoer’s Consolidated Holdings took ownership of the project from Value Place last year.