WaterWalk Hotel Apartments plans $17M Cary project

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Image from the WaterWalk Hotel Apartment site in Wichita, KS

WaterWalk Hotel Apartments is under contract to buy a four-acre site at Dillard and Corning roads in Cary.

The company will begin the $17 million, 138-unit building project by mid-March 2016, according to David Redfern, president of WaterWalk’s real estate and franchise development.

Redfern says the company is also looking at property sites on Miami Boulevard near Research Triangle Park for a second building project in 2016 – if all goes well in Cary, The Triangle Business Journal reports.

Both the Cary and RTP sites would be developed and corporate-owned owned by WaterWalk – a company founded by hotel entrepreneur and millionaire Jack DeBoer, who also created the concepts for Residence Inn, Summerfield Suites, Candlewood Suites and Value Place hotels. But, either or both properties could also be purchased for franchise development.

WaterWalk also announced Aug. 28 that it had reached an agreement with Henley, a United Kingdom-based private equity firm, to build five franchise properties in the U.S., including one in Charlotte, in a deal valued at $100 million.

The concept, Redfern explains, gives guests two housing and service-level options:

  • In Cary, a typical semi-furnished, one-bedroom apartment unit will have starting rents at $1,134 per month with a lease contract of at least six months.
  • Or, a guest can choose the hotel-service model that will be charging about $150 per night for a one-bedroom, fully-furnished unit with a washer and dryer.

About 70 percent of the rooms at the WaterWalk will be two-bedroom units. The hotel will also have one-bedroom and three-bedroom units. Each property will also employ between 11 and 13 people.

Image from the WaterWalk Hotel Apartment site in Wichita, KS
Image from the WaterWalk Hotel Apartment site in Wichita, KS

Part of the reason why the WaterWalk is starting to catch on among real estate developers, Redfern says, is because it’s easier to get bank financing nowadays for an apartment project than it is for a hotel building project.

“The customer likes the bigger space and the home-like atmosphere, and banks like apartments way more than hotels,” he says.

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