Julius Meinl Living PLC, through its group companies, acquires prime real estate assets to be developed into serviced residences which the group will then operate itself (“Julius Meinl Living”).
2021 continued to provide a challenging environment for the hospitality industry. While Covid-related travel restrictions have been relaxed throughout the year, frequent regulatory changes and the possibility of further lockdowns in the last quarter of the year have left their mark on demand for travel services. In this context, Julius Meinl Living has moved forward to define its market place and deploy a product perfectly suited to the current state of the hospitality sector.
A brand full of tradition with a contemporary look and feel
After careful consideration and consumer testing, Julius Meinl Living recently unveiled its branding strategy. The flagship properties will be known as “The Julius”; an obvious choice in a way, but which was only taken after having assessed the expectations of consumers and associations and integrated it into an overall brand development plan.
“The Julius” builds on the Julius Meinl family’s 160 years of activity as pioneers in consumer goods and retail and the creators of the Viennese large food store Julius Meinl am Graben. “Le Julius” builds on the legacy of service, quality and innovation resulting from this activity and marks the family’s first entry into the world of travel and hospitality.
“The Julius” balances luxury and modern design with warmth, comfort and convenience. Evoking the timeless standard and spirit of European hospitality through a modern mindset, ‘The Julius’ offers a place to relax, explore, work and treat yourself like home in the city.
Representing new generation hospitality focused on design, “The Julius” offers short and long term stays in generously sized residences. Recognizing the importance of flexibility for the modern traveler, ‘The Julius’ offers technological services, automatic check-in and contactless entry to rooms, as well as on-site shops and restaurants, stocked with premium House products. of Julius Meinl. Spacious common areas, chill out lounges, and professional coworking spaces allow clients to network, meet like-minded people, or just unplug.
Whether you’re staying for a night, a month, or more, guests will experience the freedom of apartment living, with hassle-free access, easy-to-use technology, and flexible amenities. Each booking is tailored to the customer’s needs and preferences, offering options such as an individual address for deliveries and step-by-step guides to help navigate the city as a local.
In each city where “The Julius” opens, it will retain these same essential elements, while reflecting in its design the tone, history and ambiance of each city.
Opening of Prague – Opening of the world
Julius Meinl Living’s first flagship property is located at Senovazne Namesti 3 in the heart of Prague. The property is known as ‘The Julius Prague’ and occupies a redesigned art deco building designed by leading Italian architects Matteo Thun & Partners. A central, light-flooded veranda sits at the heart of the building and guides guests to 168 individual residences, with separate living and sleeping areas, and many of them feature open-plan kitchens. The residences, common areas and restaurants offer soft furnishings and an autumnal color palette, inspired by the works of famous Czech artist Alphonse Mucha. World-class amenities are combined with stylish yet warm elements such as oak floors, soft linen linens, and contemporary bathrooms.
The Julius Prague enters service with a smooth opening, with a “grand opening” scheduled for spring 2022.
Further information on Julius Prague is available at www.the Julius.eu, where reservations are pending.
Good start in Budapest
The acquisition of the property from Julius Meinl Living in Budapest was completed in August 2021. Since then the property has benefited from a pickup in demand, linked to the lifting of local foreclosure restrictions, but also active marketing and Julius Meinl Living’s refined pricing strategy. The property is now trading up to 2019 levels on a still profitable basis.
The property is currently known as “Escala Hotel & Suites”. Occupying a lower price and having a less central location than “The Julius” properties, l’Escala will not be renamed “The Julius”. Instead, Julius Meinl Living has initiated the evaluation of alternative brands and a mid-range concept that will allow the property to be featured alongside “The Julius” as part of a multi-brand strategy.
At the same time, Julius Meinl Living is currently finalizing a renovation of the building to be carried out in three phases: the technical installations, the common areas then the 50 apartments of the building. The works will be carried out during the year 2022 and the property is expected to remain open throughout the year.
End of the Belgrade project
Through its Serbian subsidiary, Julius Meinl Living had undertaken to acquire a suitable property for “The Julius” in Belgrade by means of a forward purchase contract. The property was part of a large-scale multifunctional urban development next to the Belgrade Castle known as the K-District. The Covid-related delays in the construction of the property have given rise to a disagreement with the developer of the property, Kalemagdan Development, on how to achieve a speedy and cost-effective completion of the property. Julius Meinl Living conducted a review and came to the conclusion that prolonged legal litigation and further delay of the project would not be the right way to deploy its resources. A decision was made to withdraw from the project and in response to this situation Julius Meinl Living agreed to the mutual termination of his contract with Kalemagdan Development.
Julius Meinl Living has not made any significant payments to Kalemagdan Development during the term of his contract with the Company and does not make or receive any payments as a result of the mutual termination of this contract.
As a result of the termination of this contract, Julius Meinl Living will write off in its 2021 accounts the modest fair value gain of 2.4 million euros recorded in relation to the Belgrade building in its 2020 accounts. However, it is expected that in the 2021 accounts, substantial fair value gains on the Prague and Budapest properties will more than offset this loss and an overall net fair value gain will again be recorded.
Building on the achievements of 2021
Julius Meinl Living continues to work to identify additional flagship properties that can be acquired for possible exploitation under the Julius brand.
At the same time, and in order to capitalize on the success of the acquisition of the Escala Hotel & Suites in Budapest, Julius Meinl Living is also looking for other opportunistic acquisitions of serviced residences. These properties will likely use the same name as the current Escala Hotel & Suites eventually, once it has been renamed.
A number of flagship and opportunistic acquisitions in major cities in Central and Eastern Europe are under consideration, as well as in Western Europe. Julius Meinl Living’s outlook remains focused on expansion and growth and the termination of the contract for the Belgrade property does not change the strategy and goals of Julius Meinl Living. 2021 was a decisive year for Julius Meinl Living in terms of preparing for operations, establishing its brand in the market and meeting the expectations of investors and customers.
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