Sweeney brothers hunt for opportunities
With a healthy reservation book across the summer season at their eponymous Sweeney Rooms & Apartments in Motherwell, property developers Stephen & Martin Sweeney are continuing to see business opportunities as the pandemic draws to a close, announcing that they are on the hunt for more properties and land to develop.
Sweeney Rooms & Apartments, a £400,000 refurbishment of an old hotel on Hamilton Road, Motherwell, offers nine luxury self-catering rooms, all with en-suite bathrooms, kitchen areas, superfast wifi, and desk space. The venture was launched in 2020 by the two brothers as hospitality re-opened after the first lockdown.
As the hospitality and tourism sectors recovers, Stephen and Martin are being assisted in their current business aims by two specialist agencies within The Fusion Group of Companies, which works with hospitality businesses of all sizes.
Its Accommodation Services Trading Company is running the reservations department for Sweeney Rooms, whilst its specialist commercial property agency, Drysdale & Company, is actively seeking suitable development properties and land that may be coming to market.
“We are really proud of what we have created at Sweeney Rooms & Apartments,” said Stephen Sweeney. “What was a hotel that was once the beating heart of Lanarkshire is now vibrant once again, attracting business bookings and staycationers from all to a contemporary and sophisticated place to stay.
“The development enjoys a fantastic location less than two minutes from the motorway, with Scotland’s largest theme park on our doorstep, not to mention a huge country park. Launching in the teeth of a pandemic which was crippling travel was not ideal, but we decided to open the doors as soon as construction was complete, and are reaping the benefits now, with a very strong occupancy rate for the summer season and beyond.”
“Business travel has bounced,” added Stephen. “This is the main market we are targeting with our in-room kitchen facilities, super comfy beds, fibre optic wifi, desk provision and contemporary interior design. It’s a real home from home offering for those needing long term accommodation. If you are coming to stay for a meeting, Sweeney Rooms is the ideal place at which to stay, with more privacy than a hotel!”
Martin Sweeney added: “Using Accommodation Services to handle reservations for us has been hugely beneficial, freeing up our time to pursue other things. It’s an extremely efficient and professional service.”
Along with reservations support, Accommodation Services offers other specialist services for hospitality owners and investors which are designed to maximise their revenue streams. These include Corporate Restructuring support, together with the more practical services of property maintenance & landscaping, property protection & security, and utilities and hospitality procurement.
Martin explained that with the help of Drysdale & Company, he and his brother were keen to widen both their residential and commercial property portfolios. “A Sweeney Room aparthotel in Aviemore is coming next from us, we are very excited to take our brand further north to a tourism hotspot.
“We aim to roll out this strong concept aggressively over the next five years to establish a network of aparthotels. It’s all about finding the right locations.”
“Stuart Drysdale and his huge network of contacts helps developers such as us stay one step ahead of the market. They understand the type of properties we are seeking, and, especially at the moment, are in touch with hospitality owners who are now looking to sell or restructure due to the pandemic.”
Stuart Drysdale completed more than 1,000 commercial property valuations across Scotland and the UK whilst with Graham & Sibbald, before heading up the Scottish Hotel Agency Team of an International property firm.
He said: “For us, it’s clearly not just about handling property sales. We are providing badly needed assistance – and fresh, realistic options- to the hospitality sector, at what is the most anxious and stressful time it has ever faced. Connecting hospitality owners to developers like the Sweeneys can also present fresh opportunities for everyone.
“We’re building a strong working relationship with Stephen and Martin at Sweeney Group, one that we are confident will continue to flourish.”|
Drysdale and Company markets properties with top quality photography & videography, multiple add-ons such as 3D walk throughs, property condition reports, and full compliance checking to increase the speed and efficiency of a business transaction.
“Concluding sales and getting your money quickly can be crucial,” said Stuart. “Equally however, asset disposal is only one of the different solutions and pathways we are offering.
“Parent company Fusion’s extensive experience in operating and marketing hospitality businesses comes into play here with options such as potential management services, accommodation booking services, and joint ventures & leasing, all designed to boost revenue and improve an operator’s profit margin.
“Ultimately, this can mean that perhaps a hospitality owner doesn’t have to sell up at all, or if they do, they will achieve a much better price, with perhaps a development business such as the Sweeneys interested in developing their property.”
Stephen Sweeney said other local business streams for the Sweeney Group of companies were the development of social housing, private residential housing, roadside retail and convenience retail with multiple sites in the pipeline for each market.
“Martin and I spent the majority of time throughout 2020 exploring and obtaining funding lines for our future development projects. We’re all ready to go and actively hunting for development sites in the correct locations.
“Our strong team of agents, architects and engineers, are assessing potential sites daily so if there are people out there with potential development opportunities, please get in touch with us. We’d be delighted to hear from you.
“Having the right team in place is so important to us as we search for more Sweeney Rooms type developments, rolling out this strong concept aggressively over the next five years to establish a network of aparthotels. The specialist help provided by both Accommodation Services and Drysdale & Company will assist us in the continued expansion of Sweeney Rooms.”