In a first, developer pitches Gwinnett extended-stay hotel as affordable housing

Peachtree Corners will consider a special-use permit on Tuesday that would allow a developer to convert an extended-stay hotel at the corner of Technology and Peachtree parkways into an apartment complex. (Courtesy City of Peachtree Corners)
Caption
Peachtree Corners will consider a special-use permit on Tuesday that would allow a developer to convert an extended-stay hotel at the corner of Technology and Peachtree parkways into an apartment complex. (Courtesy City of Peachtree Corners)

Credit: Jason Getz

Credit: Jason Getz

Apartment-seekers in Peachtree Corners may soon be able to live in a former hotel — without fresh linen or room service delivered to their doors.

City Council will consider a special-use permit on Tuesday that would allow Blaze Partners to convert the Homewood Suites hotel at the intersection of Technology and Peachtree parkways into an apartment complex.

If approved, it would the city’s first use of an ordinance enacted in late May that allows developers to convert declining hotels into small apartments. The city passed the ordinance in case hotels lose their national brand due to lost revenue from the pandemic and decline in quality or shut down.

“If a hotel is not doing well and (is) no longer supported by the parent company, converting it to an apartment provides a better alternative to having the hotel fall into decline,” said Diana Wheeler, community development director for the Gwinnett city. “Unlike, say, a failed retail store that can be remodeled to accommodate a wide variety of uses... options for hotels are very limited.”

Blaze Partners, based in Atlanta and Charleston, would partner with Argosy Real Estate Partners for the conversion. The developer would convert all existing 92 hotel rooms into small apartments with repainted walls and new floors, cabinets and appliances.

Caption
A drawing of one of the remodeled buildings as part of Blaze Partners' plan to convert an extended-stay hotel on Technology Parkway into an apartment complex. (Courtesy City of Peachtree Corners)

Credit: City of Peachtree Corners

A drawing of one of the remodeled buildings as part of Blaze Partners' plan to convert an extended-stay hotel on Technology Parkway into an apartment complex. (Courtesy City of Peachtree Corners)
Caption
A drawing of one of the remodeled buildings as part of Blaze Partners' plan to convert an extended-stay hotel on Technology Parkway into an apartment complex. (Courtesy City of Peachtree Corners)

Credit: City of Peachtree Corners

Credit: City of Peachtree Corners

Residents in the updated units would have access to a central laundromat. Anyone who wishes to live in one of the units would have to pass background and credit checks, and the apartment complex would participate in the county’s crime-free multifamily program.

The one-bedroom apartments would likely be priced in the $800-$1,000 monthly rent range, Wheeler said. The guests who currently stay at the extended-stay hotel would be offered an opportunity to apply for an apartment, she said.

Converted hotel units would be smaller and more affordable than traditional apartments, Wheeler said, which would add another housing type to the city that may appeal to younger people or singles.

Blaze Partners declined to provide comment to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the conversion plan. The developer has previously partnered with Argosy to convert extended-stay hotels into apartments, including a project earlier this year in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Wheeler said other companies, including some formed in recent years specifically to repurpose hotels into apartments, are showing interest in applying for a special-use permit under the city’s new ordinance.

If hotels lose their national brand, it could make it hard for financially strapped owners to do routine maintenance and periodic upgrades on their properties, Wheeler said.

“That makes them less desirable to business travelers and other clientele that they were intended to serve,” Wheeler said. “Eventually, those properties become a code enforcement problem and that, ultimately, affects surrounding property values.”

About the Author

ajc.com

Editors' Picks