Case Study: Oliver House Student Accommodation

Oliver House, was a 38-room, short stay accommodation hostel located in the vibrant Ropewalks district on Bold Street in Liverpool, UK opeating from 2012-2018. As the industry progressed and offered improved facilities across the city, maintaining a satisfactory level of income at Oliver House became increasingly difficult. Additionally, rising maintenance costs due to the building’s age prompted the original owners to sell the property. In 2019, a plan was devised to transform the hostel into a boutique hotel, and planning permission was granted. However, the conversion process faced delays as the leaseholds of the fractional investment opportunities needed to be surrendered to establish clean title for lending security.

Redevelopment and COVID-19 Pandemic:
After the lengthy conveyancing process, financing was secured to commence the renovation, which took approximately 10-12 months. As the refurbishment neared completion, the COVID-19 pandemic struck the UK, forcing the hotel to halt its plans for a full opening. It was not until November 2021, after the government lifted COVID restrictions, that the hotel could finally welcome guests.

Financial Challenges Faced:
The COVID-19 pandemic presented numerous challenges for the redevelopment project. Travel restrictions prevented the hotel from receiving guests, resulting in substantial revenue loss during a forced closure. The hotel had to navigate complex agreements with suppliers and financiers to temporarily pause repayments, however, once the hotel finally opened, repayment plans were put in place and were fully repaid witihn the first 12 months of operating, despite being in one of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic.

Recognition for Resilience:
Despite these obstacles, the hotel’s team demonstrated remarkable resilience and determination during this unprecedented time, earning recognition from a senior member of Liverpool City Council as “One of our developers that delivers”

In conclusion, the transformation of Oliver House into Hotel 105 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic is emerging as a success story. Despite significant delays and challenges caused by the pandemic, the hotel managed to overcome them through adaptability and resilience. The case of Hotel 105 underscores the importance of flexibility, determination, focus, and persistence in the face of unprecedented challenges.