US: More than 150 international delegates attended the first Serviced Apartment Summit Americas in New York City last week.
Held at the Westin Times Square, the event attracted senior
delegates from the US, Canada, Japan, Australia, Nigeria, Saudi
Arabia, the UK, the Netherlands, Singapore and India.
The event kicked off with a tour of three serviced apartment developments in Midtown Manhattan: The Cassa, operated by Nectar Furnished Apartments; AKA United Nations, operated by Stay AKA; and The Beekman Tower, operated by BridgeStreet Global Hospitality. Delegates then enjoyed a cocktail reception in the art deco bar at the top of the Beekman, reportedly a favourite hangout for Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack.
Following a rather frantic speed business card swap and welcome speeches from event host Piers Brown and Sean Worker, president and CEO of patron sponsor BridgeStreet Global Hospitality, a panel of property owners and investors took to the stage.
Sameer Kazi, head of real estate investments for Saudi conglomerate SEDCO, said the serviced apartment sector is attractive due to "high margins, shariah compliant revenue and stable revenue streams".
Anthony Balestrieri, director of JV and equity investments, real estate, Metlife, said that "transparency of data is key to increased investment" in the sector.
Offering a different slant on investment in the sector was Kamal Advani, managing director of operations at Versa Capital Management. His company invests in operators rather than assets, and acquired BridgeStreet in 2014. Advance said: "The sector is less mature in the US than in other parts of the world and has significant potential for growth."
Mark Skinner of Highland Group and Vail Brown of STR Global then gave the latest performance data for the sector in the US. Their presentations can be downloaded here.
A panel of industry leaders then debated the challenges and opportunities the sector is facing before an illuminating session on the short-term rental sector and sharing economy, and its impact on and convergence with the serviced apartment sector. A review of this session can be read here.
Other highlights included an 'around the world in 40 minutes session' which gave delegates a global snapshot and featured Ricky Kapoor, ceo, Edinburgh Collection and Holyrood Suites (UK); Abi Adisa, ceo, Amara Suites (Africa); Paul Constantinou, chairman, Quest Apartment Hotels (Australia); TJ Barring, founder and CEO, JNB Group (US and India).
Lawyers from Katten gave a breakout session on what operators should be doing in disaster scenarios, while the main room went on to host sessions on corporate housing, and demand and distribution.
The day was rounded off by a fascinating presentation from Derrick LaRosa, director of real Estate at BridgeStreet Global Hospitality, on the strategic role of serviced apartments in the residential real estate market. His presentation can be downloaded here.
Click here to see video highlights from the
"Congratulations and thank you for a terrific event! I very much enjoyed the two days in NYC and was impressed with the event, the content and the individuals."
Jon Pertchik, CEO, InTown Suites
"Congratulations on the inaugural conference in the States. The conference was done so professionally and built to grow over the years. Well done, we look forward to next year!"
David Redfern, president, Consolidated Holdings and WaterWalk Hotel Apartments
"I was particularly impressed with the global reach of the attendees which I believe is a clear sign that the US serviced apartment market has grabbed the attention of the international investment community. A higher profile among capital groups will be sure to accelerate the industry's growth going forward."
Derrick LaRosa, director of real estate, BridgeStreet Global Hospitality
"SAS Americas was so important in continuing to develop the sector in the USA and brought together a very high level group of operators ,owners and investors. The interest was phenomenal and there were so many useful sessions at the conference. Katten was proud to be a sponsor and to be part of the serviced apartment sector as it progresses to become more accepted in the market place."
Terry Green, partner, Katten
"The first-of-its-kind SAS Americas has been an extremely successful event, beyond any of my expectations. It brought the spotlight on to the investment opportunities, successes and challenges within the corporate housing/serviced apartment sector. American operators were present together with investors and CEOs from all continents to discuss and debate the future of the industry. Again Piers and the team have delivered real value, in terms of programme, but also business and networking opportunities at a very high level. Thank you, looking forward to carry on the discussion next year and participating in SAS Europe and SAS MEA.
Séverine Obertelli, head of sales and marketing EMEA, Maxxton
"Thank you for ABODA's inclusion into the inaugural SAS Americas. I was very impressed with the quality and content of the summit and look forward to seeing you again at the SAS Europe in London this summer."
Lee Curtis, president, ABODA