New extended stay platform Aendre launched

Image © Kam Idris / Unsplash
An experienced team within the European serviced apartment segment has launched a new venture, Aendre, with private equity backing that aims to repurpose city centre offices into lifestyle accommodation.

Aendre, a new lifestyle extended stay platform aiming at growing across Europe, has won the backing of two major investors. The funding will enable the Aendre team, who are experienced in developing extended stay brands, to add further impetus to a segment that has experienced strong traction off the back of the pandemic.

The backers of the venture are private equity investor JuneX Capital Partners, along with New End Associates. They aim to support expansion of Aendre’s brands via conversion of office buildings and hotels into new extended stay properties.

An experienced team

Aendre has been founded by Eric Jafari, a segment veteran who previously helped lead growth at Edyn, a serviced apartment group backed by investor Brookfield. He has been joined by another Edyn team member, Chris Strong, who was the group’s head of UK and Ireland acquisitions. Prior to growing Edyn, which expanded fourfold over five years, Jafari worked at extended stay leader SACO, and helped develop brands including Locke, which is now an established part of the European extended stay market.

Today, Edyn has three extended stay brands. Locke, with 16 European city locations, Cove, currently live in 10 locations, and the legacy brand SACO, with six UK sites.

Jafari says his experience to date has prepared him to develop new offerings in the extended stay and aparthotel space. “We have identified a number of gaps in the market and intend on creating a series of new scalable hospitality brands and are privileged to have the backing from New End and JuneX Capital Partners to do so.”

Repurposing office buildings

The office sector is reeling from two key changes. First, the pandemic led to major employers questioning their need for so much office space. After being forced to enable work from home (WFH), some have now reverted to a demand that employees are back in the office; while others have embraced hybrid working. The result has been an examination of space requirements, and a drop in demand for office space. At the same time, growing pressure is coming from rising energy costs and demands to account for carbon intensity, meaning that investors holding older office buildings need to consider upgrading buildings.

“Our mission is to transition carbon inefficient office buildings into green destination properties that foster communal belonging,” said Strong. “These office conversions uniquely lend themselves to lifestyle extended stay, due to their high-quality locations and relatively deep floor plates, which are challenging for traditional hotel layouts.”

Aendre’s entry into the extended stay sector will provide the impetus for further innovation in a space that has become increasingly appreciated by business and leisure travellers alike, for the flexibility of accommodation it offers. Generally fitted out with a kitchen, many sites have a range of accommodation from the scale of a studio apartment up to larger two bed units, making an ideal base for families or those on longer work assignments.