Financing and conversions under the magnifier: What four top speakers say about cost and creativity

Financing and conversions under the magnifier: What four top speakers say about cost and creativity

Corona has positively raised global awareness of sustainability. Putin’s war in Ukraine is reducing progress in terms of climate concern to a struggle based on energy resources. At the same time though, it is precisely this that sensitizes us again to the urgently needed change in our politics, everyday life, travel behaviour and hotels. Think tanks like the Hospitality Inside Think Tank (HITT) are once again setting the course for a sustainable corporate future. The 5th HITT on 27/28 June in Berlin brings experts with global know-how and a 360-degree perspective to stage: They explain to hoteliers, investors and project developers where and how current factors come together. We introduce you to the first impulse generators today.

The fifth edition of the think tank will allow plenty of room for discussion. The current political development and the high dynamics of events simply require time for personal exchange with colleagues and experts. The HITT helps with orientation in these obscure times. The goal is in the title of the think tank: “Embrace ESG for people, planet and prosperity.”

These experts, whom we introduce to you first today, will provide clear indications showing the way to a sustainable world with new growth opportunities – as inspiring impulse providers, who will take your questions and provide guidance for your uncertainties, on board of the event ship Orca ten Broke and off-the-record. HITT 2022 is once again a pure physical event.

The most pressing question: Does a sustainable hotel pay off?

Ross Petar
Ross Petar. / Photo: private

Ross Petar of London sees the glamour of a sustainable hotel from the sober perspective of the capital markets, financiers and owners. For more than 20 years, Ross has been dedicated to evaluating hotel properties at JLL (Jones Lang LaSalle). As Managing Director, he is now responsible for the entire EMEA region.

“Capital providers have different perspectives on the appreciation potential of a sustainable property,” he says, urging newcomers to be cautious: Decisions on investments and prices are currently also made despite a lack of know-how. The real estate expert prefers to think about capex, cash flow and liquidity – and the risk for investors if they don’t want to build sustainable properties.

A year ago, he began comparing sustainably and traditionally financed hotel properties. At the HITT in June, he will present an up-to-date calculation. Ross will be heavily involved with real estate, and another panelist will talk about “green” financing sources and opportunities.

> Impulse provider:
Ross Petar, Managing Director, JLL Global Valuation Advisory and Head of EMEA Hotel Valuation Advisory will speak on the panel about “Sustainable Finance & New Ways to ROI”.

The emissions question: How do you build, convert and operate real estate for the benefit of all stakeholders?

CONSTRUCTION & CONVERSIONS: The construction and building industries now account for nearly 40% of global CO2 emissions, putting them at record levels for greenhouse gas emissions, according to a UN report. Much of this issuance, HITT 2021 participants learned, is concentrated in Europe because of the large number of old existing properties.

Thomas Kraubitz
Thomas Kraubitz. / Photo: private

But Thomas Kraubitz is also one of those for whom conversions make more sense than new buildings because they produce fewer emissions when they are rebuilt. The architect and urban planner is also one of the co-initiators of the German Society for Sustainable Construction (DGNB). Kraubitz – based in Berlin – is Director and Head of Sustainability & Climate Europe in the Consulting Division of the global engineering company Buro Happold. The experts there are looking not only for solutions for real estate, but also for cities and infrastructures.

Kraubitz is meanwhile very familiar with the hotel industry through his many projects. And he is sure that from now on, a lot of attention will be paid to this industry because of its possibilities to become sustainably active. Therefore, the company often starts with its due diligence of a property, making a close assessment of location, the operator concept and the target group(s). “We involve in-house experts of all kinds, from water specialists to technology experts, with whom we consider how to connect the property to smart devices,” Kraubitz said.

Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams. / Photo: private

People look at a property strongly from the technological as well as from the environmental side, but this also extends to the “social” aspect of a building – especially in the hotel industry. “We’re shedding light on how the particular space is integrated, what’s happening around it, how safe it is, how much you can open up the building for activities or what can make the building itself a visitor magnet in and of itself” (and potentially generate new revenue opportunities).

To develop sustainable buildings, even from a conversion, he believes it takes “some effort and not always immense cost”!

In the discussion round, Thomas Kraubitz and his colleague Anthony Williams will lead the part on new buildings and conversions in this panel, before handing over smoothly to Patrick Lüth.

> Impulse generator:
Thomas Kraubitz, Director and Head of Sustainability & Climate Europe, Consultancy Buro Happold and Anthony Williams, Programme Director Tourism & Sustainability Development, Buro Happold lead the discussion on “Construction & Conversions: Make properties a climate-friendly experience and a profitable business.”

ARCHITECTURE & INTERIOR DESIGN: This will transition smoothly over to Patrick Lüth, Architect, Managing Director & Partner of the Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta.

Patrick Lüth
Patrick Lüth. / Photo: Thomas Schrott

One of Snøhetta’s exciting projects in the hospitality industry is the concept design for Norway’s Svart Resort at the foot of a glacier, the world’s first hotel with a positive energy balance. Based in Innsbruck, Austria, Patrick Lüth oversees projects in the DACH region, among others – mostly residential and cultural projects.

He does not reduce himself or his work to classical building aspects, but – in the spirit of sustainability – to the fusion of architecture with “social” functions that convince and bind the consumer (guest). “Resorts, in particular, take on a tremendous responsibility for the environment they create,” Lüth said. The target group-specific language of architecture and design plays a major role, both externally and internally.

>Impulse generator:
Patrick Lüth, Architect, Managing Director & Partner Snøhetta, provides input to the discussion about Construction & Conversionsaround the aspect “Turn around to the new eco aesthetic”.

Join in, sign up. The other impulse generators will also bring a lot of know-how and will be happy to discuss with you!


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