Former motel undergoes renovations to be converted into apartments for students

Economy Inn, located on the corner of Tennessee Street and Walnut Avenue in Florence, undergoes construction. The motel was recently purchased by Tim Rhodes Properties and is being converted into efficiency apartments marketed for students at UNA.

After years of being a low-budget motel, the Economy Inn on Tennessee Street in downtown Florence has new ownership and is currently undergoing a facelift.

The motel, with a large number of rooms, will be converted to efficiency apartments for UNA students, said Tim Rhodes, new owner and property manager.

“It will be an apartment that is all inclusive,” Rhodes said. “Anything in downtown Florence gets a look from UNA students because it’s close to UNA.”

The efficiency apartments will be all inclusive with rent, water, cable and Internet, Rhodes said.

The apartments will be targeted toward UNA students, and Rhodes-as well as his colleagues-looked at making them similar to dorm-style rooms. Operating under the name Lion’s Den Apartments LLC, the complex will start leasing apartments before the end of the summer.

Rhodes said most of the apartments will be approximately 300 square feet and there will be a few larger apartments that will cost more in rent each month.

“One of the things we are doing to gain space (in the rooms) … is we are using all available space,” Rhodes said.

The apartments will have built in furniture, including desks, closets and other amenities, he said. The new efficiency apartments will be completely renovated with new flooring, paint, windows and bathrooms.

Rhodes hopes to have a model unit ready in the early summer.

“We’re shooting fort the first of June,” Rhodes said. “That’s on my wish list. It may be the first of July.”

Downtown Florence Unlimited President Van Morgan is excited to see a new owner of the property.

“That particular property has been kind of an eye sore and a source of some unsavory activity,” Morgan said. “I am optimistic that they will turn what has been a liability in to something positive.”

The old hotel and the property it sits on is appraised at $584,500, and was purchased by Tim Rhodes Properties

For more information on the apartments contact Tim Rhodes Properties at (256) 764-3137.