The First Furnished Suites in Philadelphia
Between 1964 and 1966, Sam Korman developed The Plaza, a building unlike anything he had ever done at that point in time. It was a white marble, circular high-rise in the heart of Center City, Philadelphia. The building was beautiful and had a prime location, but the contemporary apartment design with pie-shaped floor plans was a challenge to lease.
Steve Korman commissioned several Philadelphia designers to each furnish one apartment on a floor in a unique way. After a man touring the property expressed interest in renting the apartment fully furnished, Steve realized there was a whole segment of people that weren’t being served, the people who needed accommodations for more than a week, but didn’t need a year’s lease. In 1966, Steve Korman launched the first furnished suite business in Philadelphia. Over the next 10 years, Korman Company expanded and enhanced this concept to a fully serviced furnished apartment with amenities, packages and housekeeping. Soon after the first 1966 furnished apartment rental, Steve began furnishing apartments in all the Korman properties, as well as renting for shorter terms of three months, and eventually a month at a time. The Kormans broke a barrier with this concept. Korman Company became the first company to own and operate fully furnished suites with flexible- stay leases and fully furnished apartments in the United States. Features that are considered apartment standards today, such as washer and dryers and wall-to-wall carpeting were innovations championed by Steve Korman in the 1970s. By the early 1980s, after building more than 40,000 homes, single family, duplex, row houses and apartments, Steve led the company’s residential division out of home building, and exclusively into the apartment and furnished suite business.