|By Dan Voorhis, The Wichita Eagle, Kan.|
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Oct. 16, 2003 - It's an apartment house. It's a hotel. No, it's something in between.
Kevin Stuckey and Andrew Chaney believe they have found a new niche -- a hotel that rents by the week.
They opened Value Place this week at Oliver and K-96. The $3.5 million, four-story building contains 104 units.
The units come in two sizes. A 270-square-foot efficiency apartment rents for $149 a week; a 330-square-foot efficiency apartment rents for $175 a week. They require a $100 deposit.
The units are fully furnished, including kitchen appliances, bed, bed linen, desk and chair.
Stuckey and Chaney say they can make this pay off because they have been careful about costs. They employ just four people, who staff the hotel only during business hours.
Stuckey said their hotel is the same price as many regular apartment complexes, but they've cut out credit checks, security deposits and long-term commitments.
"We saw a real absence of affordable temporary housing," Stuckey said. "Not only here, but across the country."
Budget-priced, weekly-stay hotels tend to be older, often run-down motels or apartment complexes.
"This is one of the very few purpose-built, short-term temporary-stay properties around," Stuckey said.
The two started out by figuring they wanted a hotel costing no more than $150 a week in order to reach their market. Then they took six months figuring out how to reduce the cost of the building and operate it efficiently.
Chaney said that Stuckey, who oversaw the planning and construction of the building, did a great job of figuring ways to trim expenses.
The two are veterans of Candlewood Hotel Corp., which offers extended-stay rooms to business executives. At Candlewood, Stuckey and Chaney picked sites for new hotels.
They hope to build more hotels locally and around the state as the concept takes off. The two are planning to break ground later this year on a hotel on the south side, in the area of 47th South and Broadway.
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(c) 2003, The Wichita Eagle, Kan. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. CNDL,