The Student Hotel (TSH) (headquartered in Amsterdam) has reached an agreement with UniCredit for social and environmental impact financing of €145 million for the development of two new locations in Rome San Lorenzo and Florence Belfiore. SACE, the financial insurance company specialised in supporting the growth and development of businesses and the Italian economy through a wide range of tools and solutions, supports the financing with a green guarantee of €54 million.
The loan includes terms for the achievement of a BREEAM “Very Good” rating for both locations and adherence to the EU Taxonomy for sustainable activities as criteria for the green guarantee by SACE.
TSH and UniCredit have agreed to include impact financing terms in the form of a discount on the interest rate, which TSH has committed to reinvest by providing students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds scholarships in the form of rent reductions.
The impact financing terms are in line with the bank’s Social Impact Banking program. UniCredit is acting as Arranger, Underwriter, Bookrunner and Agent. The loan follows existing financing agreed between TSH and UniCredit for hybrid hospitality model locations in Florence Lavagnini, Bologna and Vienna.
Redevelopment of San Lorenzo and Belfiore
The projects will support the regeneration of the San Lorenzo district in Rome and the Belfiore district in Florence, revamping the areas for the local communities and expanding the availability of student housing in both cities. With these two new locations, TSH will have a total of five locations in Italy.
Charlie MacGregor, founder and CEO of TSH, said: “We are very pleased to announce a social and environmental impact financing agreement with UniCredit, further strengthening our relationship that was established in 2016, and with support from SACE. The sustainable and impact finance terms align with TSH’s continued commitment to minimise our environmental impact and maximise our impact on local communities as part of our growth strategy. We are proud to be able to redevelop these previously underdeveloped areas in Rome and Florence to become exciting locations where the local communities, guests, students, companies can come together”.
Construction of the Rome development will officially start in March 2022. The 396-room hotel with a floor area of over 22,750 m2 and a total investment of over €90 million by TSH is due to open in winter 2023/24. The location will include a restaurant, a bar, meeting and co-working spaces and a gym, but also a public park of over 15.000 m2 that is accessible to all.
In Florence, the development consists of a 550-room hotel with a floor area of over 80,000 m2. Construction of the above ground has started in September 2021 and the hotel is expected to open before summer 2024. TSH will invest over €160 million in the project. Besides hotel rooms, a bar, gym, co-working spaces and public park, the Belfiore location will also include a public running track on the rooftop of the building.
Amber Westerborg, TSH Director of Sustainability & Impact, said: “At TSH, we’re continuously working on creating inclusive and impactful communities, in a sustainable manner. This agreement with UniCredit and SACE allows us to offer students from a disadvantaged socio-economic background rent reductions at our locations during their time at university and lays a foundation upon which they can start building their future. The agreement also recognises our philosophy to create future-proof projects that are sustainably developed and operated”.
Massimiliano Mastalia, Head of Corporate Italy at UniCredit, said: “We are proud to continue supporting TSH Group alongside SACE in its development. This is a longstanding relationship that will now allow for the transformation of two large areas in Rome and Florence into innovation and creativity hubs, aimed at connecting different communities of people, especially the youth. This will also increase the availability of quality accommodation, supporting a sector that was harshly hit by the pandemic. The deal is testament to UniCredit’s commitment to promote and support the sustainable development of our territories, which is central to our Group’s core purpose of empowering our communities to progress”.
Driving continued sustainable growth
The financing supports TSH’s growth strategy as it looks to open 10 hotels across Europe by 2025, taking the total amount of operational hotels to 25. TSH has recently secured €300 million from existing shareholders to fund the growth strategy. Despite the challenges brought by the pandemic, TSH was able to continue to invest in growth, performing better than the traditional hospitality sector due to its hybrid hospitality model. In 2022, it will open hotels in Madrid, Barcelona and Toulouse.
Thanks to the positive impact in terms of climate change mitigation, the financing terms fall within the goals of the Green New Deal, the plan that promotes a circular, modern, sustainable and resilient Europe. SACE, the institution supporting the development of the country’s system, plays a central role in the implementation of the Green New Deal in Italy. The company led by Pierfrancesco Latini, indeed, can issue green guarantees on domestic projects capable of facilitating the transition towards an economy with a lower environmental impact, integrating production cycles with low-emission technologies for the production of sustainable goods and services, and promoting initiatives aimed at developing a new mobility with lower polluting emissions.
Daniela Cataudella, Head of Task Force Green at SACE said: “We are pleased to collaborate with UniCredit alongside TSH, a leader in the Real Estate industry. Our support, realized quickly and in line with customer expectations, will allow the Group to grow sustainably, aiding the Italian hospitality sector, severely affected by the pandemic, and the social and environmental development of urban areas such as San Lorenzo in Rome and Belfiore in Florence, so important in our country’s history. With this operation, SACE strengthens its leading role in the national ecological transition, supporting also projects related to the tourism hospitality, within the framework of the PNRR guidelines”.
Deloitte acted as debt advisor and Clifford Chance acted as legal counsel to TSH. Bonelli Erede acted as legal counsel to UniCredit.
About The Student Hotel Group
The Student Hotel concept started with one simple observation: that students deserve better. Today, that vision has become reality and grown to encompass all guests with a “student spirit”. From design-savvy travellers to next-gen entrepreneurs, TSH welcomes thousands of guests annually to its expanding portfolio of urban campus-style properties across Europe. Purpose-built or housed in historic converted buildings, TSH’s industry-leading concept provides blended spaces to learn, stay, work and play for a night, a week, a month or a year.
TSH is on a journey to remain as responsible and impactful as possible – both in how we build our hotels and engage with our communities. Our properties are developed and managed in accordance with international ESG standards, and through our programming we aim to inspire and activate our communities to contribute to a fairer and greener world.
Founded in 2012, TSH is headquartered in Amsterdam and has 650 employees. All TSH properties offer a mixed-use campus with accommodation, bars, restaurants, gyms, retail shops, meeting and event spaces and high-profile, co-working space. With over 11,000 rooms in Europe open and under development, TSH aims to offer a unique experience to its community of international guests. As of today, TSH is operating in 15 European locations: two hotels in Amsterdam and in Barcelona and one in Berlin, The Hague, Delft, Vienna, Groningen, Eindhoven, Maastricht, Rotterdam, Paris, Florence and Bologna. TSH’s total locations amount to 25 hotels, with 15 open, three opening this year and seven more by 2025.