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Pop Up Apart-Hotel Coming to Camden Lake Eola Mixed Use Project

A Temporary Use Permit was approved by City Council which will allow the under-construction Camden Lake Eola mixed use building (Website) at 520 E Church Street (MAP) to, once completed, have a company called WhyHotel (Website) operate a pop up apart-hotel rental business in 125 units on the property (approximately a third of the total units) up to a maximum of two years after the completion of construction.

According to City staff, most new multi-family buildings have a lag in stocking the building with permanent residents once they are completed – it can take up to a year to attract residential tenants. This is called a "lease-up period."

That's where WhyHotel comes in.

WhyHotel’s model is to operate only during the lease-up of new apartment units in urban communities. The program provides customers with the opportunity to rent fully furnished apartments for short-term rental (1-29 days) or long-term rental (30+ days). WhyHotel will provide 24 hour/7 days-a-week staff on-site to manage their short-term rental operations similar to that of a hotel. Once the lease-up period has ended, the apartment building will revert exclusively to residential uses with zero WhyHotel units going forward.

To date, they have operated such ventures in the Washington DC and Seattle areas. This project will be their first venture in the southeast United States.

The operator will also collect and remit Tourist Development Taxes for any lease periods less than six months to the County Comptroller. The intent is to treat hotels and short-term rental operators on a level playing field for zoning, safety and taxing purposes.

The two years begins upon issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the project, which is expected to occur upon completion of the project in mid-2020.

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Camden Lake Eola
Credit: Camden Lake Eola


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