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Dual award for micro-apartment projects of GBI Group of Companies: Winner of the “immobilienmanager Award” in Germany and shortlist nomination for the Serviced Apartment Award in London

March 22, 2019 Accolades No Comments Email Email

The accomplishments of the German project developer GBI in the field of micro- and serviced apartments have been recognised at two separate prestigious award events – in Germany and Great Britain. In Cologne, the GBI Group received the “immobilienmanager-Award 2019”. project developer was awarded first prize in the Investment category for the successful development of the SMARTments product family, which includes the SMARTments studentSMARTmentsbusiness and SMARTments living brands. At last week’s “Serviced Apartment News” award ceremony in London, GBI and its CEO Reiner Nittka were shortlisted for the annual award in the “Industry Inspiration Award” category.

The well-deserved winner at the award ceremony in London was Staycity’s CEO and founder Tom WalshHowever, the initial nomination of GBI for this prestigious award is a great honour for us”, says Reiner Nittka, adding: “The fact that within a few days our microapartment project developments have been acknowledged twice is a great encouragement for the comprehensive team performance of the entire GBI Group of Companies”.

Bucking initial scepticism

GBI is the trailblazer of the development of serviced apartments in Germany. In 2006, the company – amidst much scepticism of the industry and quite a few bankers – had first talks with Citadines about the introduction of this accommodation concept, which was still almost unknown in Germany at the time. The joint project with Citadines was negotiated in Munich in 2006/07 and completed in 2009. Further Citadines properties in Hamburg and Frankfurt were added. GBI also supported other international serviced apartment brands at their market entry in Germany, such as Capri by Fraser, Adina or Adagio.

Accordingly, this groundbreaking achievement of GBI was honoured at both awards: In the case of the micro-apartment market in general and in the serviced apartment market in particular. The founding of a separate SMARTments product line was likewise appreciated: SMARTments students in the sought-after university towns are home to both students and trainees. SMARTments business, which is also fully equipped, accommodates professional and private travellers who stay in a city for several weeks or months.SMARTments living are specifically designed to meet the growing demand for small apartments in central urban locations within the local residential market.

A total of 17 SMARTments student properties are in operation in cities such as Hamburg, Frankfurt, Cologne, Essen and Berlin. The first SMARTments student abroad opened in 2018 in Vienna. Further properties are currently under construction in the cities of Hamburg, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Vienna and Paderborn. Six SMARTments business are currently in operation – in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Vienna. Further houses are being built in Mannheim and Vienna, where GBI has already successfully launched its first house this year. SMARTments living project developments are currently underway in three cities, including Hamburg and Wiesbaden. Thanks to the right locations and shrewd pricing strategies, GBI’s SMARTments are almost fully booked everywhere – occupancy is well over 90 percent. The various SMARTments concepts have also proven to be a very good complement in mixed-use projects, for example on converted railway plots or in the development of new city quarters.

GBI has proven the invest capability of this product class

Irrespective of whether it is about a company-owned brand or a third-party order: GBI not only conceptualised the properties and negotiated contracts, but also won over banks and investors to these investment products. Some examples from the current serviced apartment market: Toga Hospitality as parent company has concluded a lease agreement for the first time for the Adina in Frankfurt’s Europa Viertel. For finance company Deka, the Adina high-rise was the first serviced apartment brand to be acquired for a fund. All this finally proved the investment capability of this product class. Subsequently, GBI AG sold further serviced apartment houses to large investment funds, insurance companies, pension funds and family offices. As a rule, such arrangements already materialise with the granting of Planning Permission for the respective project, which testifies to the great demand for the product.

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