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Value Place Hotels Expansion into the Milwaukee Area
 Meets Some Resistance

By Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal SentinelMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Feb. 6, 2008 - A company that bills itself as the nation's fastest-growing extended-stay hotel chain is expanding into the Milwaukee area.

In some cases, however, proposals for extended-stay hotels have drawn opposition from residents concerned about the type of guests who stay at the hotels, which offer low weekly rates.

Value Place has plans for at least two area hotels, on Milwaukee's far south side and in Oak Creek, according to proposals filed with both communities. The hotel chain is franchised by Value Place Franchise Services LLC, based in Wichita, Kan.

Value Place was founded in 2003. Its managers also created the Residence Inn, Summerfield Suites and Candlewood Suites extended stay hotel brands, which were later sold to the Marriott, Hyatt and Intercontinental hotel companies.

Value Place operates nearly 80 hotels in 19 states and is expanding nationally. A Value Place spokeswoman couldn't be reached for comment, but a company statement says it has 42 franchise groups that have agreed to build another 600 hotels over the next five years.

Value Place's rates vary by location. In the Des Moines, Iowa, area, for example, weekly rates range from $189 for a studio room to $249 for a room with two beds, according to the hotel chain's Web site. That amounts to around $27 to $36 a night.

The chain doesn't have any hotels in Wisconsin, according to its Web site. The Sun Prairie Common Council rejected a proposal in December to build a 121-room Value Place in the city. Nearby homeowners and other opponents complained about the hotel's boxy appearance, the potential for increased traffic and its cheap rates.

Similar complaints arose in Oak Creek, where a Value Place is proposed for 9315 S. 13th St., about two blocks north of W. Ryan Road. Critics, including members of the Plan Commission, said the hotel's low rates could attract an undesirable clientele.

Mayor Richard Bolender and others said Value Place has a good record in other communities and would not create a problem for police.

A Value Place real estate executive, Mark Schroeder, said the hotel chain's main customers include business travelers who want an affordable place to stay during extended, out-of-town assignments, according to commission records. The commission rejected an initial proposal, and Value Place is to submit a revised plan.

Meanwhile, a Value Place franchisee, Newport Beach, Calif.-based CM Residence Group LLC, wants to build a 121-room hotel at 6511 S. 13th St., about two blocks south of W. College Ave. The Milwaukee Board of Zoning Appeals will consider a zoning variance for the project at its Thursday meeting.

The Department of City Development has not yet made a recommendation to the zoning board on whether it should grant the variance, said department spokeswoman Andrea Rowe Richards.


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