International real estate organisation eyes up Cardiff for development opportunities

The international real estate division of IKEA is eyeing up Cardiff for future development opportunities after it was ranked third best capital city in Europe.

Vastint, part of the Inter IKEA Group, is rumoured to be looking for both a large scale mixed-use development site, in addition to sites for its student and hotel property offering.

The company is reportedly looking for sites between ten to twenty hectares in order for it to create a development encompassing office, residential and hospitality space.

Recent purchases by Vastint include an eight and a half hectares former Carlsberg Brewery Site in Leeds and a ten hectares mixed use development site in Strand East, Stratford London.

Vastint Hospitality, the arm aimed at developing hotel and student properties across Europe, is also rumoured to be seeking sites for student accommodation and its Moxy hotel brand, a partnership with Marriott International.

Moxy Hotels is setting out to revolutionise the traditional budget hotel experience by developing a design-lead, experiential, budget hotel brand. The hotels will be operated under franchisee agreements by third party operators and will be retained by Vastint Hospitality in its investment portfolio.

The first UK locations to open will be London Royal Docks, Aberdeen & Heathrow with a further six sites acquired.

Specifications for the student and hotel sites reportedly include any areas of more than one acre. Sites in Swansea are also being considered.

Cardiff-based commercial property experts EJ Hales is acting on behalf of Vastint to advise on potential opportunities and options.

Matthew Morgan, partner at EJ Hales, said: “Given Cardiff’s position as a European capital city and its forecast to be one of the leading UK cities for population growth, plus the fact that it is the closest capital city to London then it is no wonder that it is on the radar for major developers.

“Whilst Vastint has considered a handful of potential opportunities, it has yet to find something that fits both its requirement and vision. Discussions are ongoing and we’ve been encouraged following meetings and discussions with Cardiff Council and their development team over possible options.”