New York–Korman Communities, owner of the AKA portfolio of flexible-stay apartments, is submitting four of its properties to upgrades at a total cost of $10 million. Residents at the four locations will soon be able to avail themselves of added enhancements that will account for an aggregate 10,000 square feet.
For the AKA brand, the multi-million dollar makeover is not so much for luring back patrons during the rebounding economy as it is for providing the brand’s growing list of loyal guests with additional coveted amenities.
“During the economic downturn, we became the alternative for individuals and companies looking for a value alternative to the hotel stays they became accustomed to pre-2009 and were asked to stay away from during the recession,” Larry Korman , co-president of Korman Communities, tells MHN. “People sought out an alternative that met their needs, found AKA, liked AKA and told other companies and friends about AKA. For AKA, our branding actually accelerated during the weak economy and we were able to stay competitive in the marketplace.”
And with the property enhancements, AKA plans to further solidify its high position in the marketplace by tailoring its offerings to the desires of guests. The people have spoken, and AKA will give the people what they want.
“We have a very well-planned and well-received process to get feedback from our residents from electronic resident surveys, to resident engagement via social media, to our hands-on management and front desk touch points, as well as from the residents sharing feedback directly with me and our sales team,” Korman notes. “So, we very much have our finger on the pulse. And, some of the clear, consistent, overwhelming messages that we have acted on are better quality internet; HD television; breakfast in the morning; drinks in the afternoon, as well as a better fitness offering since our residents stay longer. We have also observed the need and want for more communal settings, so we have incorporated that concept into our new upgraded offerings as well with cafes, lounges, fitness and media areas that are not just larger spaces, but much higher-end than other amenities. And AKA’s amenities are totally exclusive and private to our residents, so that they maintain their anonymity during their stay.”
AKA Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia will be upgraded with AKA’s branded A Kitchen restaurant, which will offer 48 seats in 1,250 square feet, while AKA White Plains in New York will get a new 2,000-square-foot residents’ lounge with a media center and state-of-the-art facility. In Washington, D.C., AKA White House will offer a 10-seat bar at the property’s renovated 4,000-square-foot lobby area, and New York City’s AKA Sutton Place will get a boost with a 2,500-square-foot espresso bar and café.
All four of the renovated AKA flex-stay destinations will be ready for their close-ups this summer.