Work on Derby serviced apartments nears completion

George Sell George Sell Uploaded 18 August 2017

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UK: The Stay Company is preparing to open its first development, a £2.5 million conversion project in Derby.

Three Grade II-listed buildings at 62-64 Friar Gate have been converted into 18 serviced apartments. A further three self-contained duplex apartments have been built as part of an extension to a coach house behind the terraced buildings. The coach house itself will be turned into another eight units, if plans are approved.

When completed, the project will consist of 29 apartments, available for medium and long-term stays. Each apartment comes with a fully-equipped kitchen and a dining and seating area.

The project is the first undertaken by The Stay Company, part of Mansfield-based PKL Investments. Manjas Lidder, managing director of The Stay Company, told The Derby Telegraph: "The demographic we're trying to attract are business people. That might be people who are coming to the large organisations - like Rolls-Royce, Bombardier and Toyota - for a few weeks, who are coming over from Japan, Germany and France, and may come with a family member or by themselves. The accommodation is aimed at executives and management level people who are used to staying in five-star hotels and travelling around the world for business. A lot of people who travel for business don't like staying in a budget hotel or dingy apartment for three months."

"We purchased the buildings for £1 million and have spent a further £1.5 million transforming them into apartments. We paid over the odds for this - it would have been easier to buy an empty plot and build from scratch. The reason we did it is because we know it's going to make such a difference to this area and we fell in love with the buildings. We also think it's a really good location. It's a stone's throw from town, but it's not right in the middle of town where there's no parking," he added.

The Stay Company will own and manage the units. Litter said: "With a lot of serviced apartment providers, they have short-term leases. That's great, but what you don't want to have is a demographic of people who are staying with you every time they come to Derby, they love where they're staying, and then all of a sudden you've got to tell them 'we don't have that building anymore, because our lease wasn't renewed'. So, owning our own stock is attractive because we're both landlord and tenant. It gives you that security."

"When we originally developed these buildings, we thought we might go down an AST (assured shorthold tenancy) route and target them at young professionals in the local area. But serviced accommodation, we think, is quite an exciting type of accommodation," he added.

The company is working on a second development in Nottingham. "We have another site in Nottingham, right between the castle and old market square. We've got a development there for that, which will start in September. That will be commercial on the ground floor and 10 apartments above that. By February next year, we'll be able to say The Stay Company is a Derby and Nottingham company and, from there, we'll be looking to expand into places like Leicester," said Lidder.

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