Motel One project in Antwerp finds new owner

Tim Harrup

Despite the pandemic, the hotel segment has continued to be active . The latest example of this is in Antwerp where, advised by JLL, Stibbe and Clifford Chance, Cores Development, for whom Antwerp is the home city, has sold the Motel One project to abrdn (advised by Baker McKenzie et Deloitte). Delivery of the hotel is scheduled for the second half of 2024.

The hotel is located in the historic heart of Antwerp. It will comprise 221 rooms spread across two blocks totalling around 7,500 m²with amenities including a bar, meeting rooms, a breakfast area and a courtyard. The project will adhere to the latest environmental standards, aiming to achieve BREEAM EXCELLENT certification. The Motel One company, a leading European affordable hotel chain, has signed a long term 27 year lease for the building.

The new complex is designed by Binst Architects and involves the demolition of the existing building on the site. Binst explain: ‘The former residential care campus of Gasthuiszusters Antwerp is making way for the contemporary qualitative hotel concept Motel One. The existing buildings will be completely demolished. This includes the residential care campus Gasthuiszusters Antwerpen Zorgen en Wonen. The complete demolition of this building will make way for a contemporary quality building, equipped with contemporary comfort standards and adapted to the context’.

The importance of the deal is also in its significance for Antwerp, as pointed out by Alexandre De Wagheneire, Senior Director Belgium Capital Markets at JLL: “This transaction clearly demonstrates the growing interest of institutional investors for the Antwerp investment market. It is tremendous to see that the exceptional fundamental characteristics of the city are appreciated and that Antwerp is more and more responding to the criteria being sought by foreign investors”.

Vincent Behagel – Head of Transactions and Asset Management for abrdn in Belgium echos some of these thoughts: “The principal attraction of this opportunity for us lay in the city centre location combined with robust ESG criteria. Motel One is already a tenant in the abrdn portfolio and so we are delighted to add a further unit”.