Carlyle’s ex UK head joins room2 to lead €300m development spree

room2, the UK’s first hometel brand, said it is targeting 5,000 rooms by 2030 through a series of new developments across the UK.

room2 has appointed Mark Harris, the former head of UK & Ireland and managing director at The Carlyle Group, as strategic investment partner.  
Mark’s primary role will be to help raise finance from institutions, family offices and high net worth individuals to enable up to £250 mln of investment into room2’s pipeline of hometel developments across the UK, as it targets 5,000 operational or committed rooms by 2030.

He brings more than 20 years’ industry experience including 13 years at The Carlyle Group, where he was responsible for over £2.5 bn of investments and played a pivotal role in the establishment and growth of operational alternative real estate platforms including Pure Student Living and Uncommon coworking. He will also advise on the growth of the room2 platform and the development and delivery of new schemes.
room2 hometels combine the best elements from Airbnb, serviced apartments and boutique hotels in an offering designed to appeal equally to corporate and leisure guests and those seeking alternative forms of residential accommodation.
room2 currently has two operational locations, the Southampton Hometel and Hammersmith Townhouse, both of which have performed strongly since opening. room2 has a further pipeline of live projects across the UK with a Gross Development Value of over £100 mln, including sites in Chiswick and Manchester, featuring a mix of wholly owned assets and those pre-leased to room2 by development partners.
Robert Godwin, co-founder of room2, commented: 'Having successfully established two operating hometels which are performing very strongly, and identified a significant pipeline of properties and sites across the UK, we now feel it is important to look outside of the group and work with the right people who can help us grow. Mark’s 20-plus years in the industry, and particularly the first-hand experience he gained at The Carlyle Group of working with small teams to grow operational platforms in alternative real estate sectors, will be invaluable.  Since we first began talking to Mark he understood completely our unique approach and focus on the individual needs of our guests to make them feel at home.  We now look forward to working with Mark as we continue to grow our platform and firmly establish room2’s position at the forefront of the hometel sector.'
Mark Harris, room2’s Strategic Investment Partner and founder of Orchard Grove Strategic Partners, added: ' Hometels is a nascent yet and hugely undersupplied market, and I firmly believe the wide-ranging appeal and flexibility of room2’s product provides a compelling investment opportunity which also offers defensive characteristics in a more challenging economic environment.'


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