Source - DGAP Regulatory

Issuer: GBI Group / Key word(s): Real Estate/Expansion
German brand SMARTments connect opens its first property in Frankfurt featuring serviced apartments for young professionals and community kitchens

22.02.2024 / 11:59 CET/CEST
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.


Frankfurt/Berlin, 22/02/2024. Yesterday, Wednesday, in Germany the first building of the new SMARTments connect serviced apartment brand opened in Frankfurt´s City-East. The GBI Group's new product line brings 128 serviced apartments, with communal kitchens on all six floors, to Borsigallee 9, aimed at young professionals, tourists and anyone who likes to mix with others. There are also 17 apartments with their own kitchens. Guests staying in these apartments also have the opportunity to use the communal kitchens. The accommodation's concept, built by the German GBI Group, is rounded off with the addition of common rooms which can be used as co-working spaces and other events.

The concept of SMARTments is centred around meeting the needs of the younger target audience. "We want to be involved with SMARTments connect, especially in cities where there are many attractive companies for young professionals, such as innovative start-ups", says Daniel Zawe, Managing Director of SMARTments, Megatrends such as increased flexibility of the job market increases the demand and opportunities available for new and innovative concepts."

Young professionals aren't looking for private place to retreat in serviced apartments, especially during temporary project engagements, but are interested in opportunities which allow them to easily and quickly get to know people in the community structure offered at the accommodation. "The combination is particularly important for those guests who are staying for longer durations," says Daniel Zawe, "An in-house community facilitates and accelerates the settling-in period in a new city." The process will be promoted at events, such as joint cooking evenings, kitchen concerts and wine or gin tastings."

The prime location in Frankfurt City-Ost boasts ideal public transport connections. Gwinnerstrasse underground station is located right outside the door offering excellent connections to the city. The U4 and U7 underground lines take SMARTments guests to the main railway station in 17 minutes, to the Messe Frankfurt in 18 minutes and to cultural highlights such as the Alte Oper in 13 minutes. The A66 motorway is just a few minutes drive away, making it quick and easy to visit companies or appointments elsewhere in the region. Tourist groups can also benefit from this when sightseeing the cultural highlights the region has to offer.

At SMARTments connect there is no set ratio of apartments with a kitchen to those without. "This is decided on a location by location basis, based on city structure and demand analyses," says Daniel Zawe. Comparatively, Frankfurt expects more short stay travellers. "While the average length of stay for our pre-existing SMARTments is about one month, we expect more leisure guests at SMARTments connect and thus also more short or medium stay trips. We are expanding the product line sustainably by offering such variations of the concept."

These products are also interesting for investors. The property in the east of Frankfurt was acquired by abrdn Investments Deutschland AG for a special fund. "Serviced apartments are interesting to institutional investors not only because of their long-term leases and rental agreements, but also because of their sustainable income. Even during covid, all of the SMARTments leases were paid in full." emphasises Simon Behr, Managing Director of the GBI Group. In 2023, the company recorded a 15 percent increase in revenue per room in the serviced apartment division than in the previous year. The economic success and high level of guest satisfaction is also made possible by the increasing digitalisation of the business. All standard processes from booking through to check-in and invoicing are handled fully automatically. This allows the on-site staff to focus on more importantly supporting individual concerns. This is important for the guests and strengthens customer loyalty.

There is already a further location in the pipeline for SMARTments. By 2025, 223 units will be built in Bielefield directly at the main train station. Additionally, a further 2 SMARTments business properties are under construction at Frankfurt Airport (142 units) and Hamburg (160 units). In addition to the 1171 serviced apartments currently open at GBI - in nine buildings in Frankfurt, Berlin (3), Hamburg, Munich, Mannheim and Vienna (2) - three further properties with a total of 525 units are currently under construction. Taking into account the SMARTments student units, the SMARTments operating companies currently have 2,390 units (including units under construction). The goal is to increase this to around 5,000 apartments over the coming years. Henderson Park, a financially strong property fund manager and shareholder in the group, is able to take over existing properties and portfolios as well as enter into pure lease agreements with other developers and portfolio holders. Mixed-use developments also continue to play a role in this growth strategy. This combines serviced apartments with other types of property use, including those from the SMARTments family. 

Further information on accommodation and booking options can be found at:
https://www.smartments-business.de/standorte/frankfurt-city-ost


About SMARTments:
'SMARTments business' and 'SMARTments connect' are trademarks of the German GBI group and offer travellers fully furnished and fully equipped apartments, 'SMARTments business' includes its own kitchenette and 'SMARTments connect' boasts integrated communal kitchens. Serviced apartments are mostly used by business travellers or young professionals staying for longer periods of time in a city, for example if they have project work or consultation meetings. Private travellers also use serviced apartments - for example for city breaks or for some privacy whilst property hunting in a foreign city. A total of 1171 serviced apartments are currently in operation, including eight "SMARTments business" branded properties in Munich, Hamburg, Berlin (3), Mannheim and Vienna (2). 'SMARTments connect' opened its first property in Frankfurt (128 apartments), with another property in Bielefeld under construction with 223 units. There are also 302 SMARTments business units under construction in Frankfurt am Main (142) and Hamburg (160). Combine these with the SMARTments student units, SMARTments is the operator at 15 locations with 2,390 units (including those in construction). The number of apartments is expected to grow to over 5,000 in the next few years. On top of this, there are also the residential products of SMARTments living and SMARTments senior living. The operation of the two serviced apartment brands is also separate to the real estate developments of the GBI Group. www.smartments-connect.de, www.smartments-business.de www.smartments-student.de

About the GBI Group:
GBI is a German property developer that focuses on subsidised and freely financed apartments, serviced apartments, hotels, student accommodation, micro apartments and concepts for senior living. GBI has completed real estate projects in Germany and Austria with an investment total of 1.6 billion euros. Over 7,500 units have been handed over to investors. The company has secured a further 1.3 billion in sales volume (GDV) for its development pipeline. Future construction projects will be completed in accordance with the DGNB Gold Standard or EH40/QNG requirements. GBI Capital, which is part of the GBI Group, comprises the areas of investment management, fund and asset management as well as funding consulting. GBI Capital has over 450 million euros of assets under management in several fund mandates. The shareholder of GBI is the private real estate fund manager Henderson Park from Great Britain. http://www.gbi.ag

Press contact:
GBI Group, SMARTments

Wolfgang Ludwig, Ludwig Medien & Kommunikation,
Tel.: +49 221 – 29219282, Mob: +49 171 – 93 35 134,
Email: mail@ludwig-km.de



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