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ECE to develop first hotel project in Italy – listed office building in the center of Rome becomes Ruby Hotel

ECE is planning the development and realization of a hotel operated by "Ruby Hotels" in Rome, With the project, the group company ECE Work & Live, as planned, expands its development activities in this asset class to international markets as well as to the conversion of existing properties. The plans provide for the conversion of a listed property from the early 19th century, which was used as an office building until recently, into a Ruby Hotel with around 165 rooms.

The property is centrally located on Via Nazionale in the center of Rome and thus not far from the main train station Roma Termini in the immediate vicinity of many tourist attractions. Initial demolition work for the project has already begun. Construction is scheduled to start in the fall of 2023, with opening scheduled for spring 2025. The investment volume is around 60 million euros.

The project is ECE Work & Live's first hotel development in Italy and the first joint project with the fast-growing lean luxury hotel group Ruby Hotels, which focuses on affordable luxury, modern design and efficient processes and is planning numerous new hotels throughout Europe. The Otto family holds a 25 percent stake in the Ruby Group.

Torsten Kuttig, Director Hotel Development at ECE Work & Live: "Our first hotel project in Italy combines the main objectives of our strategy in the hotel segment: to expand our international activities and extend them to attractive markets such as Italy, to increase investments in the conversion of existing properties and to focus on hotels with a leisure and business competence. We are therefore very pleased to have identified a suitable existing property in the heart of Rome, which we can convert into a modern hotel building together with Ruby Hotels as our partner."

Catherine Hilt, Group Senior Manager Development at Ruby: "Within Rome’s stably growing market, affordable luxury is an over proportionately growing, albeit underserved niche segment. With our Lean Luxury concept, we aim to address this specific demand. This project fits perfectly, and we are particularly happy to be realizing it jointly with our long-time partner ECE,"

ECE has already planned or realized numerous hotel projects with a total of 3,500 rooms in Germany and Austria - including two Motel One properties in Vienna, a Holiday Inn in Hamburg, and the Steigenberger Airport Hotel at Berlin-Brandenburg Airport. In addition, the sister company ECE Real Estate Partners is already managing the investment of the ECE European Lodging Recovery Fund in Italy in the ongoing modernization and repositioning of the Hotel Bonvecchiati in the heart of Venice.

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Lukas Nemela

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