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Tiny hotel rooms a huge selling point for Yotel brand

Seeking global expansion, minimalist hotel group to build presence on Orchard Road and at Changi Airport

Published Sun, Dec 7, 2014 · 09:50 PM
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Los Angeles

REAL estate colleagues questioned Justin Palmer's purchase of a boarded-up, eight-storey San Francisco office building for US$17.7 million - almost double the price paid for it six years before. Then he told them his plan.

Mr Palmer, co-founder of New York-based builder Synapse Capital, is redeveloping the property into a Yotel, a minimalist hotel brand whose signature feature is tiny rooms, or "cabins", of about 175 square feet (16 square metres). That means Synapse can fit 202 revenue-producing rooms into a building that would accommodate just 94 were it a standard hotel, he said.

"People in the industry in San Francisco thought we were crazy until they figured out that we were fitting in two times the amount of keys," said Mr Palmer, who…

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