IC plans to invest one billion in microapartments
Microliving offer combined with community concept proves robust during the pandemic
Specialising in temporary housing concepts for students and young professionals, International CampusGmbH (IC) plans to invest one billion euros over the next three years in additional microapartments under the brands THE FIZZ and HNVS (“havens”).“Students in particular are desperately searching for apartments everywhere. The tremendous shortage of supply in Germany can only be remedied if the Studentenwerk and the private sector work together. We are interested in plots and existing buildings in class A and B cities, in order to create more living space for the 2.9 million students across Germany”, states Rainer Nonnengässer, Chief Executive Officer at IC. The management team thus has its sights set on projects in major cities like Hamburg and Berlin, smaller cities with popular universities are also considered for investments. Apart from Germany, Austria and the Netherlands are particularly attractive target markets, where additional residences with fully furnished microapartments are planned and already under construction.
“Corona-related travel restrictions and online events at universities are currently leaving some student apartments vacant. Nonetheless, occupancy rates remain high and one thing is also certain: the pandemic will pass. As control over the virus increases, face-to-face courses will also return. We are planning for the long term and firmly believe that the number of national and international students in Germany will continue to rise”, says Nonnengässer. According to Statista,the number of students increased by 63 percent in the last twenty years.
The company currently develops and operates thirteen student residences under the brand THE FIZZ in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. Plans for the future include residences for professionals under the new brand name HVNS. The company’s main shareholder is the global alternative asset manager Brookfield.
Living alone – staying safe and connected throughout the pandemic
Isolation and loneliness during the pandemic? Not at THE FIZZ. Here, the concept includes more than just private rooms with fully equipped kitchens and bathrooms. The centrally located residences are geared towards communal living and shared experiences. They are custom designed and adapted to the local conditions. Various community areas, such as large cooking and dining areas, study and music rooms, movie lounges, roof terraces and — in some cases — gardens provide ample space to socialise. A house management team handles parcel deliveries and repairs, and a security company is entrusted with the protection of the building and its residents.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, hygiene and protection measures have been in place in all the buildings, meaning that the common areas are currently unavailable. Nonetheless: no one is alone at THE FIZZ. A range of online offers temporarily replaces face-to-face meetings. “We are happy to say that our safety measures are effective and that the number of quarantine cases has remained low so far”, explains Rainer Nonnengässer. He believes that studio apartments offer many advantages over traditional student flat shares with regard to the risk of infection.