Atlanta hotelier John Patel may convert about half the rooms at the old Skytop Holiday Inn off U.S. 411 and Chateau Drive to mini-apartments.

The Rome-Floyd County Planning Commission will hear his request for a special-use permit for the 6.9-acre property May 7.

Patel turned part of the property into a Studio 6 Extended Stay hotel about two years ago, He’s been remodeling Skytop’s main building for the past year and a half and recently decided to switch it from a mini-suites hotel to mini-apartments.

The developer said he believes there may be more demand for apartments than hotel rooms in Rome right now.

“They’ve been fully renovated with kitchenettes,” Patel said. “All new tubs, toilets, sinks, kitchens and stoves. Everything is ready to open up.”

“I like it,” Rome City Manager Sammy Rich said about the concept. “That’s very innovative. If it’s done correctly, that could be an exciting thing.”

The complex would have 120 apartments, each just a little more than 300 square feet in size. He’s calling them studio apartments and believes they could be ideal for students or young single professionals.

Patel said he has not locked in a rental price yet but thinks it could be from $700 to $800 a month.

Patel has done something similar at a property he owns in Chattanooga, Tennessee. But, up there, he used two or three hotel rooms to make one apartment. He said that was not economically feasible at the Skytop.

“I was too far along in this building and this is a solid block building, each room,” Patel said “I didn’t want to tear out each room.”

The old hotel lobby area could be used for a common area. The former banquet facility could host special events or be converted to a theater room. The building still has a pool that can be restored as an added amenity.

The planning commission will consider the request for a special-use permit within the Community Commercial zone and make a recommendation to the Rome City Commission.

If the special-use permit is approved by the city, Patel said the first units could be ready for the market within 60 days.

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