The news of Santander’s investment in City Marque comes at a time when the market for serviced apartments is rapidly expanding as they become more popular, especially in the UK capital. BigHospitality has recently reported that London is likely to lead the charge for serviced apartment expansion in Europe and that in 2013 the capital’s serviced apartments saw an average occupancy rate of 80 per cent.
City Marque expansion
With Santander’s investment of more than £2m, City Marque expects its portfolio to grow rapidly over the next three years. Although its baseline expansion plans support a minimum growth of 550 apartments, City Marque expects it will actually have more than 1000.
City Marque has revenue of £5.69m and projected revenue of £15m for the 2015 financial year. The funding from Santander will allow the company to develop its e-commerce and systems infrastructure as well as build a corporate business portal, which it hopes will assist in its growth.
Managing director and founder of City Marque Derek Gallimore said: “This is an exciting time for City Marque as we accelerate our business plan without relying on equity investment. Our growing presence in London means we can take on more strategic blocks in collaboration with institutional property investors and landlords. We have a conservative growth plan for 550 apartments, but we actually expect to reach 1,000 apartments by the end of 2016. This long-term commitment of funding from Santander will provide confidence to our partners and help us secure a better pipeline of stock on attractive commercial terms.
“Furthermore, the deal will allow us to enhance our e-commerce and mobile platform and secure better pipeline, on better terms and at an earlier stage than previously because of our size. The enhancements to our systems infrastructure will also allow us to access a growing consumer base that increasingly prefers the greater space and comfort of serviced apartments over hotels.”
City Marque has launched two new apartment projects recently, a seven-apartment block in Knightsbridge anda nine-unit building in Monument.
Aparthotel Adagio in Edinburgh
London isn’t the only UK capital city to see growth in the serviced apartment market. Aparthotel Adagio has just announced the signing of a new, 146 bedroom apartment property in Edinburgh. The apartment property is due to open at the end of 2017 and is part of the £150m New Waverly development programme to create a new city centre district for Edinburgh.
The serviced apartment building will range over four storeys and have frontages onto the Royal Mile and the Canongate. It will be ‘sensitively’ designed in an aim to fit in with the historic area and will be built behind a pre-existing façade on the Royal Mile.
Aparthotels Adagio director of Central and Northern Europe Vangelis Porikis said: “The Aparthotel Adagio offers an innovative solution for urban tourism and one we are particularly excited to launch in Edinburgh, a fantastic city of history, culture, business and thriving tourism. Aparthotels Adagio represent a travel concept for ‘city breakers’ that is smart, economical and immersed in the heart of the city. We are working hard with Artisan to ensure our new aparthotel is itself immersed in the history and culture of the city and gives our guests a base from which to enjoy this fantastic city and surrounding area.”