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Little Mod Hotel brings small hotel feel and on-the-go dining to the Corner

The hotel and its attached food truck open this week

<p>The hotel, relatively small in size and located in the midst of the student housing landscape, features 15 rooms with nightly rates, along with five apartments that can be rented by the month.&nbsp;</p>

The hotel, relatively small in size and located in the midst of the student housing landscape, features 15 rooms with nightly rates, along with five apartments that can be rented by the month. 

Nestled in the heart of student housing on 14th Street, the 1960’s-themed Little Mod Hotel and its attached foodtruck are set to open this week. The hotel replaces the Alcove Apartments, an off-Grounds student housing option constructed in 1964.

Property developer Bill Chapman said he aims to create a unique hotel experience with the Little Mod’s mid-century modern design. The hotel, relatively small in size and located in the midst of the student housing landscape, features 15 rooms with nightly rates, along with five apartments that can be rented by the month. 

“We specialize in small properties where we feel like we get to know the guests and we can provide them a high level of services while the other hotels have hundreds of rooms,” Chapman said.

Chapman expects future apartment tenants to be parents, short-term University employees or people in transition between houses

The five apartments within the building offer an extended stay, although the cost exceeds most student budgets. While pricing is still in the works, Chapman said monthly leases will cost between $2,000 to $3,000. Nearby, Grandmarc at the Corner — housing targeted towards students — prices annual leases at month rates between $730 and $1220.

Little Mod’s apartments are the latest addition into a housing market that has been criticized for affordable housing availability, which has long been a concern for Charlottesville residents — especially with the influx of students and University-related businesses raising rent. The average cost of living in Charlottesville  increased recently, now 10.7 percent higher than the national average. 

For those looking to visit, a standard room with one king bed at the Little Mod Hotel ranges from $159 to $559 a night. The average booking made a month in advance typically costs around $179 — a pricing model aligning with the Graduate Hotel’s average rate of around $177 a night and the Marriot Courtyard at roughly $161.

Chapman renovated the Alcove site, working with elements of the original design. Since the old building lacked a kitchen and dining room, Chapman decided to include an attached food truck during renovations to transform the property into a full service hotel.

The “Mod Pod” food truck will be open to both hotel guests and the general public. Chapman anticipates that most business will come from students walking through the area.

“Once we went through that trouble, it just made sense to open it up to the thousands of students who walk by everyday,” Chapman said.

The Mod Pod will serve breakfast and lunch from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., offering menu items such as kolaches and a variety of street tacos. 

Many students residing on 14th Street are eagerly anticipating the Mod Pod’s arrival. Grayson McCombs, a fourth-year Commerce student living next door, said his housemates enjoyed free food samples offered by the truck before its opening.

“It’s pretty funny looking, it just looks like a big tinfoil ball,” McCombs said. “I think a few of us are actually going to try to apply to work there — I think it'll become kind of popular.”

McCombs said his friends put their names down for job applications after seeing a hiring sign at the location.

The Little Mod Hotel is Chapman’s most recent project in the world of Charlottesville property development. He previously developed the Oakhurst Inn and the South Range apartments on Jefferson Park Avenue. Similar to the Little Mod Hotel, The Oakhurst Inn offers an attached dining option, The Oakhurst Inn Cafe, serving breakfast and brunch open to the public.

Jim Shideler, General Manager of the Little Mod Hotel and the Oakhurst Inn, said the Little Mod’s nostalgic design and location adjacent to the Corner set the property apart from competitors.

“There are a lot of small boutique hotels in Charlottesville that have their own unique offerings, but I think it'd be very difficult to compare us to any other property just because we are so different from a theming perspective,” Shideler said. 

While the hotel’s location near the Corner offers proximity to restaurants, the hospital and Grounds, McCombs wondered if the Little Mod Hotel might prove too close to student life for older guests.

“I don't know this would be the best place for parents because it's pretty loud around there,” McCombs said. “You can hear all the bars playing music at night so it just depends on your taste for noise.”

The Mod Pod will open to the public Wednesday, with the hotel’s first reservations beginning Thursday.

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