The Student Hotel continues to bet on Italy, taking its hybrid hospitality concept to the capital. The Amsterdam-based group has just invested €90 million to buy the historic former Customs building in the San Lorenzo area of Rome.
It will be the 5th asset in Italy, the country where The Student Hotel (TSH) has invested €450 million so far and where it now has the biggest presence after the Netherlands.
The San Lorenzo area is home to one of Rome’s biggest universities, La Sapienza, with 115,00 students, one of the largest student populations in Europe. Part of the existing building, which had been used as a disco and concert venue, will be restored and part will be demolished and re-built. The hotel of 21,000 sq m is set to open in 2023 will have 444 rooms with fitness and communal areas as well as large green spaces outside.
TSH’s hybrid hospitality concept involves welcoming students but also tourists and business people to the “hotel”, as well as opening up the space to local residents to integrate the asset in the community. The buildings always include meeting rooms for events and conferences as well as co-working spaces open to everyone.
“We’re very happy to have signed this deal and we can’t wait to open our doors in what is probably the most famous city in the world,” said Charlie MacGregor, CEO, who founded TSH in 2006. “We started our Italian adventure with our first hotel in Florence in 2018 and despite the difficulties due to Covid-19 last October we opened our TSH in Bologna.”
‘Positive impact’ on San Lorenzo community is the goal
TSH’s goal, he said, is to “have a positive impact on the community in San Lorenzo and give students and smart workers a home away from home”.
Italy has one of the lowest PBSA provisions in Europe and a huge supply/demand imbalance. TSH has already invested in two assets in Florence, one in Turin and one in Bologna.
The group believes the market has great potential, said Edoardo Volpi, head of investment Italy, TSH: “This investment shows our belief in the prospects of the Italian market and of an important city like Rome, despite the difficult times we are living through. We want to make a positive contribution to the ongoing cultural and urban regeneration of the city with an asset that will be an integral part of the area.”