Birmingham will see the opening of the fourth Staybridge Suites Hotel in the UK just before Christmas.
The £14 million 168 suite Hotel will boost the choices for accomodation in the city. Centrally located at Martineau Place, opposite House of Fraser, the hotel brings new life back to Corporation Street, and brings back to use the former 1960's office building above the retail podium.
The building was acquired in April 2012 by Cannock Developments, who have done several similar schemes in Birmingham and elsewhere, for this conversion.
Staybrige Suites is part of IHG, the US-based, global hospitality business. The firm announced back in 2005 it's intention to take the brand outside the US and it opened first in Liverpool in 2008. It followed that with a second in Newcastle in 2009 and last year opened near the Olympic Village in Stratford London, others are in progress in Manchester and Vauxhall, London, as well as 180 across America.
Manager Chris Falcus said the hotel had benefited from business activity in two areas of focus for the city – professional services and pharmaceuticals.
He said: “The market that we are seeing is actually quite broad.
“The financial sector is certainly a big part of it, as well as legal and pharmaceutical.
“We are getting a lot of enquiries from people who are on training courses in Birmingham. Outside London, the city seems to be the most popular place for training.”
Mr Falcus said that while there were currently serviced apartments and hotels, there is nothing else like Staybridge, which is part of the IHG Group, which combines the two.
The nine-floor hotel will have no bar or restaurant and all rooms have fully-equipped kitchens and hobs.
“We operate it as a hotel, and check-in will be manned 24 hours a day,” he said.
“Where it differs from a hotel is it is more self-sufficient. The rooms have kitchens and hobs and there is a laundry and a small gym.
“If people are going back for a weekend we have large lockers to leave their stuff in.
“It is mainly aimed at people staying for a longer period of time.”
Mr Falcus said he hoped guests would be about 70% long stay, with 30% staying for one or two nights.
He said he was confident in the demand in Birmingham, amid growth in the business sector and retail boosts from the Grand Central and Mailbox developments.
“The applications for new hotels have now dried up, but there is about 30 in the pipeline in Birmingham,” he said.
“Birmingham seems to lack quality hotels.
“At the top end there’s not much.
He said: “The location to some extent was dictated by what we wanted to do and what was available.
“This is a conversation from an old insurance building.
He added: “The apartment hotel concept is the biggest growing part of the hotel market. There is a freedom about it that a lot of people seem to like.”
Savills agree with him, a recent report showed "significant potential" for growth across the serviced apartment/ extended stay sector.
Tim Stoyle, head of Hotel Valuations at the firm said expansion plans by firms like IHG meant that the UK could reach the same levels of growth as the US by 2018.
The new-build Staybridge Suites London Vauxhall is due to open early in 2015.
The 93-suite hotel is part of Albert Embankment's Spring Mews development project. In September, IHG announced a new Crowne Plaza property will open nearby on Albert Embankment in spring 2015.
Robert Shepherd, IHG chief development officer, Europe, said: "We're seeing increasing demand for extended stay properties in a market driven by corporate business."