Dowling to head Staycity property development venture

George Sell George Sell Uploaded 27 November 2019

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Ireland: Aparthotel operator Staycity Group has announced that its newly launched property development venture, Realstay Developments, will be headed up by Frank Dowling.

As managing director, Dowling will work closely with Staycity Group CEO and co-founder Tom Walsh, who will continue in his role as Staycity CEO as well as becoming executive chairman of Realstay Developments. Staycity chairman Paul Dowling, Staycity non-executive director Stephen Vernon, and Staycity development director Barry Hickey complete the Realstay board.

Realstay Developments will acquire and develop freehold sites either on its own or in a joint venture with partners. Projects already underway include the £203 million, 620-room aparthotel and Premier Inn complex in London’s Paddington – where Realstay is a 50 per cent equity partner alongside forward funding from M&G, and the €70 million, 246-apartment Staycity development in Dublin’s Francis Street in partnership with global asset manager DWS. Both are scheduled for completion in 2021.

Frank Dowling joins the company from Ireland's National Treasury Management Agency where he has worked since 2011, initially with NAMA, and most recently as head of real estate investments for the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, the €8 billion Irish Sovereign Wealth Fund. He said: “I am delighted to be joining forces with Tom Walsh to establish this hospitality focused development joint venture with the Staycity Group. We are seeing a number of interesting opportunities in major cities in the UK and mainland Europe. The team and I are well placed to capitalise on these.”

Tom Walsh said: “I’m excited to be bringing on board someone with the depth and breadth of experience that Frank offers and very much look forward to working with him in this new venture. Realstay Developments offers several benefits to Staycity Group – as well as helping grow the number of rooms in the company’s pipeline, it will help us access attractive locations through a variety of channels, and at an earlier stage of the development process.”

Stephen Vernon, one of Ireland’s best-known property entrepreneurs and philanthropists, as well as chairman of Green Property Ltd, said: “The establishment of Realstay Developments, working closely alongside Staycity in such a highly complementary way, is a significant opportunity for both organisations, which I am excited to support.”

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