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by Property Forum | Investment

Lithuanian investors Baltic Asset Management and Hanner have acquired a hotel in Prague to convert it into a co-living project called Youston. The total investment is estimated at €14 million, Hanner, the financial partner of the project, confirmed to Property Forum.

Two Lithuanian investors decided to expand with their co-living project in Prague. Baltic Asset Management together with Hanner recently acquired Hotel Vítkov in Prague´s Žižkov district. They are planning to convert this hotel into a co-living project called Youston with 100 small flats. The new co-living project should offer small flats to tenants by the beginning of 2024 with an investment of €14 million, said the Lithuanian daily Verslo žinios which first reported on the Prague acquisition of Lithuanian companies.

Ugnius Latvys, CEO of Baltic Asset Management, told the Lithuanian daily that the asset is an abandoned hotel that has been devastated by the coronavirus crisis and is most suitable for conversion into other types of housing. "Location in the central part of the city is one of the main features of successful co-living projects. Another very important aspect is that we can complete the project and bring it to the market almost twice as fast as with new construction," he explained and added that the company has already signed letters of intent for properties in Riga, Warsaw and Kraków. However, he did not yet disclose details about them. "In these cities, very similarly to Lithuania, after the pandemic, there are unviable hotels in the central part of the country that have barely survived the quarantine and are no longer able to reach the pre-pandemic occupancy levels. Such properties are ideal for conversion," he said.

"We already have good experience with Baltic Asset Management in investing in real estate projects in Vilnius. Moreover, this is in line with our strategic development direction - to invest more in real estate projects in Central and Southern Europe," Arvydas Avulis, the chairman of Hanner's board stated.

The hotel in the Žižkov district was renovated in 2007 and was a four-star hotel before the pandemic, then a three-star hotel afterwards. The new co-living project Youston will provide 15 to 48 sqm small flats with communal areas such as a dining room, cinema, sauna, laundry, gym and learning, working and leisure spaces. All the small flats will have a small kitchen and bathroom. A similar project has been developed in Vilnius, where the closed Ecotel hotel in the city centre is now being replaced by Chapters, a community-oriented housing project.

The company has nearly 600 co-living and traditional rental units in the Vilnius chains Chapters and Youston. Baltic Asset Management's investments in co-living are expected to reach about €112 million in the coming years.