NOVUM Hospitality and project developer GBI AG laid the foundation stone for niu Air in Frankfurt

Present at the ground-laying ceremony: from left to right Tim Gemünden, Managing Partner Karl Gemünden GmbH & Co. KG (General Contractor), Clemens Jung, Member of the Board GBI AG, Torsten Scholl, Chief Financial Officer Novum Hospitality and Reiner Nittka, Spokesman of the Board of GBI AG

NOVUM Hospitality and project developer GBI AG have launched another joint project with the laying of the foundation stone for a niu hotel with 344 rooms. The midscale hotel with its smart design is being built at Frankfurt's Rebstock Park in Leonardo da Vinci Allee, an ideal location for guests of the city on the river Main as this quarter is regarded as the gateway to the highly frequented exhibition grounds. The opening is expected for the end of next year.

The niu Air is the third niu hotel, alongside the niu Coin and the niu Charly, to be built in Frankfurt as part of the portfolio of more than 50 finally agreed hotels across Europe. David Etmenan, Chief Executive Officer & Owner of NOVUM Hospitality, comments: "These include two further project developments jointly with GBI AG - in Hamburg and Mannheim. We really appreciate our strategic partnership and are pleased to have already implemented agile processes enabling us to efficiently implement the niu rollout.”

The additional supply meets rising demand and a very sound hotel market. According to PwC's "European Cities Hotel Forecast", room revenues in Frankfurt rose by 3.7 per cent to 85 euros in 2017. Further increases in earnings are also forecast for the next two years. Jan Winterhoff, Director of Hotel Development at project developer GBI AG, underlines that Frankfurt's potential as a banking and trade fair city is steadily increasing. He also feels that the positive market development would be bolstered not least by the effects of Brexit. In 2017, for the first time, more than nine million hotel overnight stays were recorded in Frankfurt, 9.544 million to be precise. Compared to the figure ten years ago (5.383 million overnight stays), this is an increase of 77.3 per cent.

Like all niu brand properties, the hotel is given an additional name that has a regional reference to the location. In the case of Leonardo da Vinci Allee, the epithet is "Air", a reference to technical aviation and a tribute to its pioneers, which is also reflected in the surrounding street names. After all, Leonardo da Vinci designed the first flying machines already around 1490. Not only the name is tailored to the neighbourhood at every niu hotel, but also the extraordinary interior. The niu Air design concept, too, is inspired by the first "walking attempts" of aviation including the airships of Zeppelin & Co - yet with an unusual and modern interpretation.

The design concept is rounded off by socio-cultural cooperation with the non-profit association Viva con Agua, because the motto at niu Air is "Urban Art goes niu". As part of this cooperation, carefully selected artists who are involved in Viva con Agua Arts and the Millerntor Gallery are re-designing the hotel walls in niu hotels in an artistic and urban way for a good cause -the proceeds flow into the water projects of the “Wasser-Initiative". Initially, the focus of the association is on the current Viva con Agua project in Uganda.

GBI AG can rely on its extensive experience with hotel developments in Frankfurt. The company’s track record in city on the river Main, among others, includes two mixed-use projects in the Europaviertel, in which several hotel brands from different segments were combined, also integrating a student residence and a day-care centre for children. "This allows us to precisely assess the potential of the area around the trade fair centre", says Clemens Jung, Board Member of of GBI AG, adding: "We are very happy that we are working together with a strong, creative brand like niu, a brand that is very well established and at a location with excellent transport links".

NOVUM Hospitality will launch more than 50 niu hotels throughout Europe in the next two to three years. The niu Cobbles opened in the city of Essen at the beginning of February as the first hotel of this new brand. "The cooperation with a particularly innovative and creative brand like niu is great fun", says Clemens Jung. The project development cooperation is to be expanded as the lifestyle brand continues to grow.

All niu hotels feature an imaginative and open Living Lobby as a meeting place not only for hotel guests but also for locals. The most modern digital equipment is another asset of the brand that runs through all hotels. Numerous sockets and USB ports, smart flat screens, ultra-fast Wi-Fi, an instagram wall, background beats throughout the hotel and Bluetooth boxes in the rooms leave nothing to be desired.