Gateway Gardens at Frankfurt Airport

Joint venture between GBI and Fraport breaks ground to mark the start of construction of mixed-use development including offices and 142 apartments for business travellers

Frankfurt, 13/07/2022 - Construction can begin on a mixed-use property housing offices and 142 serviced apartments of the SMARTments business brand in the Gateway Gardens district directly at Frankfurt Airport. Building approval for the joint project between project developer GBI and Fraport Casa Commercial GmbH has been granted. With the ground-breaking ceremony on Wednesday, 13/07/2022, the representatives of all the companies involved gave the official go-ahead for work to start on Bessie-Coleman-Strasse. The project - running under joint project company Coleman 10 GmbH & Co. KG ("Coleman 10") - will result in 11,600 square metres of floor space by 2024. Furthermore, the property will include two basement levels with 116 parking spaces and a total of approx. 5,000 square metres of floor space. The construction site on the northern axis of the neighbourhood (i.e. along Bundesstrasse 43) is a trailblazer when it comes to time planning.

The new property marks the first time GBI has collaborated with Fraport Casa Commercial GmbH in a joint venture. For Jörg Guderian, Managing Director of the Fraport subsidiary, the prospect of overnight accommodation available over a period of several weeks or months is an especially significant and essential addition to the Gateway Gardens district. "The world of work is becoming increasingly flexible and mobile. The Coleman 10 apartments fit perfectly with this new Zeitgeist and complement the services on offer in the conveniently located neighbourhood. The development is perfectly situated and equipped to a high standard for individuals from the consulting or project planning sector, for example." The fully furnished serviced apartments in the Rhine-Main region, with its powerful economy, will also be appealing to newly appointed employees who have not yet found their own apartment during the first few weeks after embarking on a new job.

The property will be operated entirely by the GBI Group. The SMARTments business development at Frankfurt Gateway Garden will then fall under the responsibility of its own operating company - as is already the case for the brand's eight fully operational properties in Germany and Austria. "The brand's long-let apartments - currently 1043 in total - have enjoyed good occupancy levels even during the Corona virus pandemic, also because they allow optimum contactless travel and social distancing thanks to their own kitchen and comprehensive digitalisation," explains Burak Ünver, Managing Director of SMARTments business. Even at the height of the travel restrictions in spring 2020, SMARTments business had occupancy levels of 45 percent. Significantly better than the rates experienced by the classic hotel sector. "And this spring we have returned to pre-pandemic levels in terms of occupancy and other key figures," Ünver continues.

In SMARTments business properties, access and usage codes are sent directly to guests' mobile phones at the time of booking, allowing them access to their rooms without personal contact if preferred. Even before the pandemic, SMARTments business was focused on digitalisation, for example through collaboration with technology companies such as hotelbird, apaleo and Code2Order. Further digital applications will be added to the platform and will further enhance guest convenience and personalisation.

GBI will also let and manage the office space at Frankfurt Airport itself, which can be flexibly divided according to tenant requirements and enjoys views of the surrounding countryside. "Our recent market analyses and company surveys have confirmed healthy demand for this area," says Clemens Jung, board member of GBI Holding AG. "It is rare to find other locations in Germany with such an excellent combination of national and international transport connections. It is therefore no surprise that we are seeing such high demand from tenants while we are still just breaking ground at the site of Germany's most important airport and a location with excellent connections thanks to the international railway station." The close proximity to the Frankfurt intersection, where the vital A3 and A5 motorways come together, also makes many destinations readily accessible. "The opening of the suburban "S-Bahn" railway station in 2019 means that the regional network is also optimal," enthuses Sebastian Skowronski, the project manager responsible at GBI. Since it went into operation, it has taken commuters just ten minutes by public transport to travel from Gateway Gardens to Frankfurt Central Station, and SMARTments business is also located directly on the stop of the S8 and S9 line. Skowronski: "The development by GBI and Fraport is therefore an excellent starting point from which to access all significant locations across the Rhine-Main region."

The mixed-use approach employed in the Gateway Gardens district is the trademark of GBI. The project developer not only combines serviced apartments and offices - as at Frankfurt Airport - but also delivers additional classic and subsidised housing, micro-apartments, daycare centres, senior or assisted living, care facilities, student accommodation, hotels, commercial units, social services (e.g. GP, pharmacy) and local amenities according to demand. "These combination developments make neighbourhoods livelier and more future-proof," says GBI board member Jung. "The challenging times experienced during the pandemic, for example, have clearly shown that combining different uses also increases profitability."


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