The company has been providing short-term, furnished corporate rentals in Jacksonville since 1985.
After 34 years in business, Corporate Suite Shoppe owns its corporate headquarters, a dream of the company’s late founder, Beth Ann Greenwood.
The company Greenwood founded in 1985 with $250 started as an apartment locator for long-term leases and later changed paths to provide temporary and extended stay furnished housing throughout the city.
Its strategy is to provide a cheaper, more spacious and more comfortable alternative to an extended stay in a hotel, said Bryan Davis, the company’s president and Greenwood’s son-in law. He runs the company with his wife, Tiffany. Greenwood died in 2017.
Davis has been with the company since 1999, when Greenwood offered him an operational role as he left the Navy. He later earned his real estate and broker’s licenses to become the company’s broker and finally became the company’s president.
Buying and building out its corporate headquarters at 8200 Cypress Plaza Drive in the Butler95 Business Center represents the company taking a major step, Davis said.
The company previously rented space on Western Way in the Southside.
Davis said it’s significant to own the headquarters space.
“It’s huge in business and really I think takes us to the next level,” he said.
Davis said as Jacksonville grows, the company grows with it. When companies move into town, or people stay in the city for extended job assignments, they can find housing through Corporate Suite Shoppe.
In addition to typical online marketing strategies, he said the JAXUSA Partnership uses Corporate Suite Shoppe when it brings in companies and workers from out of town. JAXUSA is the economic development division of JAX Chamber.
Word-of-mouth is, however, the company’s most successful marketing strategy.
“We actually are on the front lines of these companies coming in,” Davis said. “We all read about it and hear about it, but we actually see it and work with these companies that are bringing people in or on job assignments.”
Business people aren’t the only ones renting the spaces. Jacksonville is a destination for medical treatment with major hospitals.
Some of the treatment, such as radiation therapy, requires extended stays.
Davis said Corporate Suite Shoppe’s apartments and units range from one to three bedrooms, so when people come for medical treatments and job relocations, they’re able to bring and stay with their family.
Prices for the units range from $85 to $105 a night, which Davis said is about half the price of a comparable hotel or extended stay suite. The company makes up for the lower prices by operating a higher volume of units as far north as the airport and south to St. Augustine.
Davis said although the company is small, it makes a significant impact on the area economy by leasing residential spaces in new apartment buildings, condos and houses throughout the city and employing people to run the company.
He said none of that would have been possible without his mother-in-law, who combined her experience as an apartment locator with her background in furniture rental and sales to move the company into a short-term, furnished rental business.
“(The company) started by total accident and with necessity to succeed,” Davis said. “And it did, with a lot of hard work.”