WICHITA, Kan.—WaterWalk Hotel Apartments, Jack DeBoer’s fifth national brand, has executed an agreement with a Rockford Development Group venture, led by Paul Roberts of Rockford and hotel industry veteran Rob Mossburg, to initially develop eight WaterWalk franchises. The properties will be located in San Antonio, Denver, Dallas, and Austin, with construction of the first San Antonio property targeted for April of this year.
Along with this announcement, Rockford Construction of Grand Rapids, Mich. was named the preferred builder for WaterWalk corporate properties and the WaterWalk franchise system.
WaterWalk Hotel Apartments was created by entrepreneur Jack DeBoer, the founder of Residence Inn, Summerfield Suites, Candlewood Suites, Value Place, and co-founder, along with Mossburg and other partners, of Summerfield Suites.
“This announcement comes on the heels of a $100 million deal we completed with U.K.-based investment firm, Henley,” said David Redfern, president, WaterWalk Real Estate & Franchise Development. “With this latest agreement, we now have 27 WaterWalk properties in various stages of development.”
According to Rob Mossburg, “It’s clear to us that the major brands are gravitating away from the true extended-stay customer in favor of shorter-term guests. At the same time, the apartment renter has a cumbersome point of purchase and very little length of stay flexibility. WaterWalk strikes us as essentially the first purpose-built furnished apartment, and not surprisingly, we are impressed with the approach WaterWalk has adopted in making economic returns for its franchisees its top priority. This commitment, coupled with Rockford’s development expertise, financial strength, and stellar construction track record—including extensive multifamily and lodging experience – bodes well for the success of our partnership.”
WaterWalk’s hybrid hotel and apartment model combines the traditional hotel services within a gated, apartment-like community, and offers upscale amenities and features, such as all-inclusive pricing, full-sized appliances in a modern kitchen, high-speed Internet, DirecTV with premium channels and DVR, housekeeping, fitness memberships, a communal bicycle program, local transportation, and free, customized breakfast.
Earlier, WaterWalk signed a $100 million deal with Henley to build five WaterWalk Hotel Apartments.