Oakwood, a global provider of furnished housing and serviced apartments, has entered a multiyear partnership agreement with Jack DeBoer’s WaterWalk International to create a new brand: Oakwood WaterWalk. These properties, all franchises, are a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and fit in the extended-stay, multifamily and corporate-housing segments.
The partnership, set to last a minimum of 20 years, places all WaterWalk’s properties under the management of Oakwood. According to WaterWalk’s EVP Mimi Rogers, the properties will finish the rebranding to the Oakwood WaterWalk name in the next 90 to 120 days.
Rogers told Hotel Management, “I strongly believe and feel very confident that partnership with Oakwood will propel WaterWalk to the next level and with their global reach. I believe their networks, their connections will bring new franchise prospects to the table, which will obviously impact WaterWalk and grow the brand immediately."
Rogers said the company, with only five properties open currently, anticipates having 50 locations open by 2024. This growth will greatly expand the Wichita, Kan.-based company’s footprint. With locations open in Kansas, Colorado and Texas, WaterWalk already has plans to open new properties in North Carolina, Minnesota, Utah, Idaho, Arizona, Florida and Pennsylvania.
Rogers is continuing a family tradition of expansion. Her grandfather and WaterWalk’s Founder/CEO is industry icon Jack DeBoer, who founded Residence Inn, Summerfield Suites, Candlewood Suites and Value Place/WoodSpring Suites.
Each WaterWalk property typically includes two separate, purpose-built buildings consisting of 153 units. Generally, 78 of these are multifamily, unfurnished units and 75 are furnished corporate and extended-stay units. The properties combine the space and residential feel of apartment living with the services of a hotel, allowing business and individual travelers to book short- and long-term stays and choose from furnished or unfurnished suites.
“The WaterWalk product is an innovative concept built on the culmination of our extensive experience in the development of thousands of apartments and hundreds of hotels," said DeBoer. "We are very excited about the dynamic growth that will begin immediately for the new brand as a result of our partnership with Oakwood.”
Pricing includes all utilities, high-speed internet, DirecTV cable television and telephone service for nightly or monthly rates. All rooms also come with fully equipped kitchens and a full-size washer and dryer. Amenities include a fitness center, breakfast delivered to each room, housekeeping and 24/7 front-desk service.