Starwood Capital makes extended-stay play with Uptown Suites

(With the launch of Uptown Suites through a controlled affiliate, Starwood Capital is looking to tap into the growing extended-stay segment.)

Starwood Capital Group is launching a new nationwide brand of upscale, economy-priced extended-stay suites. The company's new brand, Uptown Suites, will be managed by InTown Suites, an owner-operator of 188 extended-stay properties with more than 24,000 rooms in 22 states.

With the launch of Uptown Suites through a controlled affiliate, Starwood Capital is looking to tap into the growing extended-stay segment that seems impervious to recession, and thrives when times are good. On top of this, UpTown Suites is merging the economy and higher-tiered segments by offering economy-priced lodging with expanded amenities, such as lobbies with curved TVs and fireplaces, guestrooms with full kitchens decked out in quartz countertops, electric vehicle charging stations and studio suites with high-speed wireless internet. Guestrooms will also include smart TVs and Keurig coffee machines.

At the recent Serviced Apartment Summit Americas event, hosted April 11 at the New York Marriott Downtown, an STR analyst showed that the extended-stay segment managed to retain 75-percent occupancy, average daily rates of $101 and revenue per available room of $76 in 2016. During a panel at the event, Jonathan Pertchik, CEO of InTown Suites, said extended-stay hotels benefit from existing in what he called a "murky place in the middle between hotels and apartments," which benefits both consumers and investors by giving them the best of both worlds.

"Having this place in the middle... is necessary so that an investor or group can understand what they are dealing with and get involved," Pertchik said.

The first Uptown Suites location is now open in Concord, N.C., and the company anticipates that future properties will primarily be newly built facilities within walking distance to dining, retail and entertainment opportunities. Uptown Suites locations will be selected for their proximity to cities or in central locations in smaller markets, and expansion will be concentrated in regions with strong job growth and forecasted population growth.

“Demand for value-oriented extended-stay lodging continues to rise and guests are increasingly seeking a hospitality experience that is pedestrian-friendly and walkable, with high-quality amenities and warm customer service," Pertchik said in his statement regarding the launch of UpTown Suites. "Uptown Suites aims to transform the economy extended-stay experience for our guests.”

More than 10 Uptown Suites properties are slated to open by 2019, including properties in Colorado, Florida, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia, among other states.