Amsterdam-based boutique hotel firm Qbic Hotels is targeting four UK cities as it plans to launch its hotel concept in this country.
The company said it was looking for empty commercial buildings in London, Bristol, Birmingham and Glasgow to transform, with the aim of launching 10 hotels eventually.
Qbic hotels are aimed at leisure and business travellers. The company specialises in converting commercial property into low-cost hotels: it uses a construction method based on an "all-in-one" furniture pod and lounge and claims to be able to insert its hotel design into an existing empty building within three months of construction starting.
It launched its pilot hotel in 2007 in the World Trade Center in Amsterdam.
Paul Janmaat, managing partner of Qbic Hotels, said: "Up to 15% of all office buildings in the UK are empty and in some cities even more are empty - and this situation is unlikely to change in the near future owing to the current economic environment. Our hotel concept is an effective solution for building owners who are looking for uses for their existing empty commercial property. We believe that there is a significant market for high-quality, low-cost hotels in the UK, and we are now actively searching for properties at the right locations in a number of regions, as we wish to expand as soon as possible."
The typical Qbic Hotel will be 100-120 rooms. Once the initial 10 sites are found, Qbic Hotels intends to expand further and move its focus to Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Edinburgh.
By Neil Gerrard
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