Serviced apartment operator Staycity Aparthotels has acquired a development company as part of plans to start developing properties itself.
The company, which is headquartered in Dublin, has acquired an offsite developer called Pretique, which it plans to use as a vehicle to kickstart the development push.
Its chief executive Tom Walsh told Property Week that it planned to eventually develop around 20% of its properties in-house.
Staycity made its first foray into development recently, as part of consortium Concierge 3, which comprises The Pickstock Group, Staycity and BSW Land & Property.
The consortium acquired a site in Paddington and achieved planning permission for a 270-bed Staycity hotel as well as a 373-bed Premier Inn.
Last month, it announced that M&G had forward-funded this scheme, which is set to open in 2021, for £203m.
It is also developing a 240-bed hotel at Tivoli Place in Dublin in partnership with global asset manager DWS, which has forward-funded the €70m (£61m) scheme.
Speaking about the new acquisition, Walsh said: “We have been watching how developers work for several years. Our main role will still be as an operating partner, but there are certain sites where we would be confident to develop schemes ourselves.”
He said that Staycity was already looking at one or two new opportunities where it could act as a developer, including sites that it could acquire on a subject-to-planning-permission basis.
It currently has 25 properties in the pipeline in the UK, Ireland and Europe and wants to have 15,000 rooms operational by the end of 2023. Its current operational and pipeline total is around 7,000.
Walsh added that London was a “target geography” for the company at the moment, as it was easier to find new opportunities for hotel development due to the fall-off in prime residential.
Staycity is likely to rebrand the new development company in due course to reflect that it is now part of Staycity.