Developers Plan Staybridge Suites for Midtown Little Rock

A local partnership group called Midtown Hospitality LLC plans to invest $13 million to bring a Staybridge Suites hotel to a 2.69-acre site at University Avenue and 12th Street in Little Rock.

Commercial real estate firm Sage Partners of Fayetteville announced the deal Tuesday. The site is the former location of Brandon House Furniture.

The partners behind Midtown Hospitality are James Barnes, Brandon Huffman and Bhu and Cal Makan. The Makans own the Candlewood Suites at 3950 Vali Court in North Little Rock and The Burgundy Hotel at 1501 Merrill Drive in Little Rock.

They plan an early 2017 opening for Staybridge, an extended stay hotel with 17 guest rooms and meeting space.

Huffman told Arkansas Business that the project’s building permits are in the preliminary stage and have not been submitted to the city yet. He aims to break ground in the first quarter of the year.

“An extended stay hotel is a great fit for that corridor – [there’s] UAMS, UALR and … all of these places where people use a hotel and the closest place you have to go is downtown or in west Little Rock, and so we think this is great,” Huffman said.

Barnes and Huffman had previously held the property under their BH University Development LLC. It was part of an 8.7-acre tract previously owned by MBC Holdings Worldwide LLC, led by Bruce Burrow and Marty Belz.

Midtown Hospitality purchased the Staybridge acreage from BH University Development, according to Sage.

“This is a prime location that had been vacant for a long time,” said Aaron Nicholson of Sage Partners’ Little Rock office. “We’re thrilled it will be redeveloped, benefiting the surrounding area and the entire city. It will offer a high-quality, convenient hotel option for visitors here on business, as well as those who may be taking advantage of medical services at one of our top-notch hospitals nearby.”

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