Chattanooga motel converting into 100 studio apartments to supply workforce housing

Staff photo by Mike Pare / A Motel 6 in Brainerd is to be converted to 100 one-bedroom studio apartments, according to the owner.

The owner of a Motel 6 in Chattanooga plans to convert the lodging into apartments to supply workforce housing to the Brainerd area.

"We're seeing a big need for this," said Harry Patel, chief financial officer for the Atlanta firm JDH Developers.

Patel said in a telephone interview that plans call for creating 100 one-bedroom studio apartments. The company is seeking rezoning of the 2-acre site at 5505 Brainerd Road from the city.

"We go back into the rooms and totally renovate them," he said.

Rents likely will hit the $1,000 to $1,200 a month range, said the developer. Units are to be fully furnished, with large refrigerators and 50-inch flatscreen TVs, Patel said.

In addition to remaking the units from hotel rooms to apartments, he said plans are to add a gym and likely a barbecue area, gazebo and maybe a small coffee bar.

"It