Why is a hotel company starting a Cordova project right now?

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With the future of business travel uncertain, the development of new hotels remains a relatively unpopular investment.

And yet, North Carolina-based StayAPT Suites recently submitted plans to develop a 76-room hotel in Cordova primarily targeted toward corporate travelers.

StayAPT real estate manager Henry Warner told the MBJ the company is building when others aren't because it's a "disruptor" that will flourish even if business travel doesn't return to pre-pandemic levels.

"Honestly, [others not building] is a good thing for us, less new competition in the marketplace," Warner said. "Whether or not it returns to pre-pandemic levels, we feel very very confident we’ll be able to get enough guests."

The thesis is that there are numerous business travelers — especially those on longer-term assignments —  desiring rooms that have ovens, refrigerators, and the spaciousness of a one-bedroom apartment, unlike most existing hotel rooms.

"We believe we’re building something that doesn’t exist," Warner said.

As for the Cordova location, 1630 Chickering Lane, Warner said the company liked the quiet setting, quick access to I-40, and immediate proximity to a grocery store and restaurants.

The hotel should open in summer 2022, Warner said, and guests can expect affordable rates. Currently, the company's website shows a nightly rate of $84 for a week-long stay in June at its Ooltewah, Tennessee location.

Along with Cordova, the company is working on other locations in West Tennessee and North Mississippi, Warner said.

Gill Properties' Barry Maynard and Frank Dyer III are representing StayAPT in its acquisition of sites in the region.

Since opening its first hotel in North Carolina in October 2020, the company has opened three more throughout the South. Its website lists an additional 16 as either "opening soon" or "coming soon," not including the Memphis location.

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