FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the manager of Waterford Estates Lodge?
Brenan Hospitality Management Group, LLC (BHMG) is the management firm for the property. BHMG expects to be able to earn the trust and respect of the owners for many years to come.
How does the condominium association differ from the on-site manager?
The condominium association, which will be in the control of the unit owners following the stabilization of the property, will control all aspects of the property. BHMG will be the manager of the property and the hotel on behalf of the condominium association and the unit owners.
Who is BHMG?
BHMG (Brenan Hospitality Management Group, LLC) was formed by Mike Brenan (Notre Dame, Class of 1971) and his son, Keith, to acquire, develop and manage hotel assets. 

Mike Brenan started his hotel career with ITT Sheraton in 1973, holding various sales and marketing positions with them in Cleveland, Chicago, Hartford, and Bal Harbour, Florida.

After thirteen years with ITT Sheraton, Mike left to become general manager of the Adams Mark and later the Allis Plaza (now Marriott Kansas City) hotels, both in Kansas City, Missouri. He has served as managing director for Indian Lakes Resort and Nordic Hills Resort in suburban Chicago. Prior to founding his own hospitality marketing company (Performance Destinations) in 1999, Mr. Brenan served as President/COO of the Standish Care Company, a publicly traded assisted living concern.

Mike’s focus at each position and property has been to maximize the guest experience and the sense of value for service received. It is a principle that has served him, his associates, his clients, and his guests extremely well over the years.

Mike has already instituted many programs and services at the Waterford Estates Lodge that will be expanded as the family of unit owners grows.

As the sponsor of the condo hotel development, BHMG is not only developing the property, but also remaining at the property to manage the asset on behalf of the unit owners. As the developer and manager of the property, BHMG is looking to develop the highest quality product for their unit owners.

What is a condominium / hotel?
In our case, we are converting an existing hotel into the Waterford Estates Lodge. There will be 200 units which will be owned as “condominiums” by individuals who will also own 1/200th of the common areas of the property, i.e., lobby, grounds, pools, meeting rooms, etc. We anticipate that the vast majority of our owners will use their units primarily during football weekends or on other occasions affiliated with the University of Notre Dame. Each owner has an option, but not an obligation, to have the hotel operator rent his or her unit when not in use. Should an owner decide to participate in the hotel rental program, he or she will receive a portion of the revenue received from all rentals of the unit. The general public will perceive Waterford Estates Lodge as an exceptional hotel and, quite honestly, will be unconcerned with its ownership structure. 

Click here for a Wall Street Journal article on hotel/condos.

Will there be any deed restrictions connected with the units at Waterford Estates Lodge?
Yes. At this time, there are two covenants that will apply. The first states that no owner shall occupy, or permit any individual to occupy, a unit for more than six consecutive months. This is a restriction of the existing zoning on the property. The second stipulates that no owner shall be permitted to use Waterford Estates Lodge as his or her permanent legal mailing address as this would also jeopardize the zoning classification of the property. Please note that these stipulations would prohibit any student from living at the Waterford Estates Lodge for a full school year, but a single semester would be permitted.
Can I utilize bank financing for the purchase?
Yes. It can be financed in the same manner as any other condominium or house. We are in the process of working with several lenders to provide financing packages for your purchase of the unit(s). Due to the relatively inexpensive purchase price, many buyers are choosing to utilize a home equity loan or line of credit for the purchase of the unit due to the better rates that might be available.
Can a condominium-hotel unit be purchased under a corporate name?
Yes. It can be purchased under a corporate name or by individuals.
Do I have to put my condominium-hotel unit in the rental program?
No. The rental program is entirely voluntary. Furthermore, you can choose to rent out the unit yourself as well.
Will I always be able to stay in my condominium-hotel unit if I place it in the rental program?
As the hotel operator, we will always do our best to make sure that you will have your room available. However, during peak demand periods and times of short notice your unit may already have been rented. In that case, we will do everything we can to provide you with a similar room at a discount and your owner’s storage trunk will be brought to the room as well.
Will owners be able to furnish their own unit?
All units will be sold as finished, newly remodeled units. If you decide to place your unit in the rental program, you must maintain the interior design of the unit. A storage trunk with your personal effects will be placed in your unit prior to your arrival and will be stored outside of the unit when you are not utilizing your unit.
When will I receive payments for the rental of the unit?
You will receive a monthly statement that will detail when the unit was rented along with a payment of funds (if one is due). The monthly statement will also summarize the monthly maintenance expenses.
What is the monthly maintenance payment and what is included?
The monthly maintenance payment is projected to be between $300 and $600 per month depending on the size of the unit. The monthly maintenance payment includes the payment of insurance, repairs and maintenance, utilities, landscaping, asset management and a reserve for replacement.
What is the reserve for replacement?
The reserve for replacement is a capital replacement fund that will be controlled by the condominium association for the replacement of soft goods and repairs in the common areas of the hotel. Due to the extensive renovation planned for the property, we do not anticipate the need for any capital expenditures in the near future.
Will I receive income from the restaurants, meeting rooms and catering facilities?
No. You will receive a portion of the revenue from the rental of your condominium hotel unit. The hotel operator, BHMG, will be responsible for the operation, liabilities, maintenance and financial performance of Brigid’s and Lismore as well as the ballroom space. Thus, as a unit owner you will not be responsible for any of the operations of the restaurant space. Brigid’s and Lismore will always be available to the unit owners for their personal use. Furthermore, unit owners will have the priority for reservations, particularly during home football weekends.
How long will the rental agreement last?
If you choose to enter into a rental agreement with the hotel operator (BHMG), the length of the rental agreement will be for 12 months and will be automatically renewed for 12 month periods until a 60-day notice of cancellation is provided to us.
Can I cancel the rental agreement?
Yes. You may cancel the rental agreement with 60 days notice to the hotel operator. The 60 day period is needed due to standard hotel operating procedures.
How is the hotel rental program managed?
BHMG is currently in the process of selecting the most appropriate hotel management program and software. All owners will be instructed at the time of their closing of the particulars of the hotel rental program and how each unit that is available in the rental program will be treated. The software program will be utilized to insure that each unit that is available in the hotel rental program is treated fairly and anonymously.
How will football weekends be handled?
We will send a notice to each unit owner with the upcoming home football schedule in March of each year. We ask that each owner inform BHMG of which weekend(s) they intend to use for that upcoming football season and which they intend to place in the hotel rental program (if they choose to enter the rental program). We ask that each owner inform us prior to May 1st of their intentions for the upcoming football weekends. If you decide to utilize your unit after that time period and it is still available, of course, you will be able to utilize the unit.
What level of finish will the units have?
Our goal is to finish our units and the overall property to a quality level consistent with a full service, three/four-star hotel. 

Our design team is comprised of seasoned professionals familiar with both the South Bend market and the hospitality business. We have chosen Forum Architects of South Bend led by George Weber to spearhead our effort and are delighted that Heidi Bash, ASID will be responsible for all interior design.

We seek to blend comfort, style and simple elegance into the guest experience with the idea that all “guests” are “owners” and all “owners” are “guests”. Complete descriptions and details are available on the floor plans for each unit type along with the “Material Specifications” page. Please see the pictures under the “Accommodations” section of the website for pictures of the completed model unit.

What assessments and fees will I be responsible for?
Assessments and fees will be due in advance on a quarterly basis. 

  • You will be responsible for your own debt service (if any)
  • You will be responsible for paying the applicable real estate taxes on your unit.
  • You will be responsible for the maintenance expenses on the unit. Monthly expenses are expected to range from $300 to $600 per month depending on the unit’s size.

The hotel operator will be responsible for all other expenses consistent with the operation of a full-service hotel. Essentially, the unit owner will be responsible for the real estate related expenses of the unit, while the hotel operator will be responsible for all hotel related expenses.

Owners will be responsible for a modest “users fee” when occupying their unit (or allowing others to use it) of approximately $25 per day to cover housekeeping expenses.

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