For a number of years now, GBI has been increasingly focussing on projects in the areas of free and subsidised residential development. Our SMARTments apartments are just as vital to our residential projects as our SMARTments living line, which combines furnished micro-living with a range of services. In this way, GBI is creating affordable living space for different user groups.
Alongside subsidised housing projects, GBI AG further complements its portfolio with sophisticated privately financed projects. For example, we constructed 73 apartments in a converted commercial courtyard in Prenzlauer Berg and several residential buildings directly on Lake Tegel. The addition of subsidised projects often makes sense not only for reasons of economic efficiency, but also to consolidate a range of housing needs within one project.
This combined approach results in apartments being constructed for tenants and buyers, families, couples and single occupants on one site, which in turn avoids a monocultural mix in newly emerging residential estates and takes full account of demand.
Affordable housing is scarce in Germany. The demand significantly outweighs the supply, in particular in economically strong urban conurbations. GBI offers appealing concepts for the development of new locations for subsidised housing construction. We are highly familiar with the subsidy options available from the individual states and we maintain close contact with funding banks and the administration. Working in cooperation with the states, districts and municipalities, we also combine subsidised housing with privately financed apartments or intergenerational housing. Structurally and administratively reliable execution is particularly important to us in this regard. We are able to guarantee reliability when it comes to schedules and deadlines, thanks to the broad expertise embedded in our group.
Furthermore, we also act as advisers to institutional clients, such as Union Investment, on all aspects of subsidised housing programmes.
We now manage 22 student residences with almost 4,000 apartments under the name "SMARTments student" throughout Germany and Austria. These developments are found in smaller cities such as Mainz and Darmstadt, and in metropolises including Hamburg and Berlin. The first SMARTments student residences are now also open in Austria, in the cities of Vienna and Graz.
SMARTments student offer students and apprentices modern, well-equipped apartments in central locations. In addition to furniture and a kitchenette, facilities such as crockery and linen can also be provided.
When it comes to technical issues, students are assisted by the on-site caretaker. Furthermore, student tutors provide support when it comes to all study-related questions and offer numerous cultural and social activities.
An increasing number of people are living alone for a certain period of time and sometimes even on a long-term basis. Other individuals commute between several towns or cities for work. Some people come from abroad for a few years, while others wish to live in a smaller space in their senior years.
All of these people require adapted accommodation, ideally in central locations. However, small apartments are hard to find - in particular in major cities. The City Apartments are intended to fill this gap in the market. They are designed for single occupants and couples who, at certain times in their lives, wish to return to the convenience of a small apartment - fully furnished if desired.
With sizes ranging from 30 to 65 square metres spread over one to two rooms, these apartment also offer enough space for tenants who wish to stay in one place for a longer period of time. In addition to the central location, the idea is to further enhance the quality of life of residents through high-quality furnishings, a concierge service and a balcony or terrace. Properties in the SMARTments living range are being constructed in central locations. Residences have already opened in Hamburg, Berlin and Wiesbaden, and further projects are in planning.
In the coming years, demographic change is set to create a high demand for senior-friendly, barrier-free accommodation. The living needs of older people change, residential spaces need to be adapted to new physical conditions. GBI will be developing various types of accommodation for senior citizens in the years to come. Concepts may range from age-appropriate subsidised housing with additional care services, to care home facilities. Extensive residential estate developments with a special focus on the needs of older people are also in planning. Initial projects are being established in Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and North Rhine-Westphalia.
We are already integrating childcare centres into our neighbourhood developments to satisfy the increasing demand for infant day care. We built a childcare centre in Regensburg as part of a subsidised housing project, while a childcare centre was also constructed in Frankfurt's Europaviertel.