MOTEL 6 PHOTO

A two-building Motel 6 property, near Interstate 25 and Academy Boulevard on Colorado Springs’ north side, would be converted into 117 studio apartments under a proposal by a Texas real estate group.

A north-side Colorado Springs hotel property would be transformed into apartments that would help fill a need for lower-cost housing, under a proposal by a Texas company. 

Sandstone Investments, a Dallas real estate acquisitions and development company, has proposed converting the two-building Motel 6 and Studio 6 at Voyager Parkway and Razorback Road into 117 studio apartments, according to plans the company has filed with city officials. The property sits near Interstate 25 and Academy Boulevard.

The hotel, which El Paso County land records show was built in 1984, had carried the Howard Johnson's flag until it was rebranded a few years ago. 

Like other cities, Colorado Springs lacks enough affordable and attainable units for teachers, public safety workers, restaurant employees and others, said David Perel, a Sandstone principal. Those are the types of renters the company expects to attract, he said.

"We see a real need for that type of level of housing," Perel said. "The units are small, so they're going to be able to be priced at a level we think will be (more) affordable to a broad variety of individuals than some of the current new builds (for) multifamily housing."

Perel said he hopes rents at the converted Motel 6/Studio 6 would go for $800 a month or less for units that will be about 350 square feet in size.

Those rents would be about $500 lower than the average first-quarter rent of nearly $1,334 a month in Colorado Springs, based on a recent University of Denver report on local apartment costs.

Rents at the Motel 6 units won't be subsidized and there will be no income restrictions on tenants, Perel added.

Some upgrades would be made to the hotel rooms, but changes wouldn't be significant, he said. Kitchenettes would be installed in rooms that don't have them, existing kitchenettes would receive minor upgrades and more storage would be added to the units, Perel said.

The project would be a first for Sandstone, he said. But many cities have similar needs for lower cost housing and Perel said he expects his company would tackle similar conversions in other markets.

The Colorado Springs project isn't a done deal, however.

Sandstone needs city regulatory approval of its plan. The company, which has contracted to buy the hotel property, then would complete its purchase likely by year's end and possibly as early as the end of the third quarter, Perel said. 

Units would be ready to rent three to six months after the company completes the property's purchase, he said.

Sandstone's plan to convert the Motel 6 property is the latest project that appears to signal a trend in Colorado Springs and elsewhere.

Another Texas company that specializes in hotel-to-apartment conversions proposed in June to transform the south-side Hotel Eleganté Conference & Event Center into 642 apartments.

A former Rodeway Inn on Pikes Peak Avenue, east of downtown Colorado Springs, also has been targeted for conversion into 116 apartments, according to plans filed with the city.

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