A sign reads "for lease" at the Market City Center apartment building downtown on Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Updated at 6:10 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, with more information.

One of the biggest apartment complexes in Chattanooga's central city in converting about half of its rental units into overnight or longer-term travel apartments under the Stay Alfred brand, the nation's leading provider of travel apartments.

Stay Alfred, which already operates partnerships in downtown buildings for hotel and travel apartment in 32 U.S. cities, will open in July at the Market City Center in the 700 block of Market Street in downtown Chattanooga with 53 units, or nearly half of the 125 apartments originally planned for the $30 million complex.

Through the travel apartment concept, Market City Center owner Boyd Simpson said Stay Alfred will introduce a new experience that combines the space, furnishings and local feel of a vacation rental with the customer support of a hotel. The new hotel concept will help fill much of the 10-story commercial and apartment building, which remains less than half occupied following its 2017 opening.

"Stay Alfred is a fantastic addition to Market City Center, which already includes retail, office and residential spaces," Simpson said. "This addition, paired with more exciting announcements to follow, will make Market City Center a destination in itself."

Simpson, owner of the Atlanta-based Simpson Organization which owns the property along with the adjacent SunTrust Bank building and nearby Warehouse Row, said Stay Alfred is part of his company's ongoing efforts in downtown Chattanooga "to create all-inclusive urban destinations, like Warehouse Row, through this meaningful new partnership."

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Boyd Simpson, head of The Simpson Organization, speaks during the official opening of Market City Center on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2018, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Stay Alfred travel apartments offer full kitchens, living areas and bedrooms in downtown locations and the brand already includes more than 2,000 such units across America in 32 cities, including Atlanta, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Tampa, Miami and Savannah, Georgia in the South and other major cities such as Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Seattle and Washington D.C. Stay Alfred will add a staff to operate the new facility within Market City Center.

"Market City Center " Jordan Allen, Stay Alfred founder and CEO, said the Chattanooga commercial and apartment complex "has everything we look for in partnering with a property.

"Stay Alfred at Market City Center will offer guests an ideal location right in the heart of downtown, close to restaurants, shopping and outdoor recreation," Allen said in a statement Wednesday. "Chattanooga is so much more than a day-trip destination; this is a great city to explore with a lot to offer. We live to offer travelers "Your place in the city.' "

Stay Alfred at Market City Center will offer one- and two-bedroom travel apartments. Each unit will have a living space, full kitchen, washer and dryer, free Wi-Fi and a self-guided check-in process. In addition, guests have access to the upscale building amenities of each unique property, which at Market City Center include a fitness center, lounge and rooftop terrace.

"Chattanooga is a world-class destination, not only for adventurers and vacationers, but also business travelers who are inspired by the city's energy and innovative spirit. The opportunity to partner with Stay Alfred will incite additional tourism and growth for the city," said Simpson.

As part of the Stay Alfred community, all long-term building residents will enjoy exclusive perks, including complimentary "friends and family" stays at their own building and discounts at any Stay Alfred property across the nation in perpetuity.

Gail Battle, senior vice president at Simpson, said the other 72 apartments at Market City Center will remain as apartments. But she expects the addition of Stay Alfred "should be a positive influence on such leasing" both other apartments and the commercial space on the first couple of floors of the Market Street complex

"We currently have one additional lease downstairs and another 6,172-square-foot space with agreed upon terms with another new tenant," she said Wednesday.

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Contact Dave Flessner at or at 757-6340