By Harold Emert
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – In a city that is continuously renewing itself, the sad news of the closing of Novo Mundo, one of Rio’s most traditional hotels, has turned out to be good news for students.
The São Paulo group Uliving, specialists in student housing, has announced that the hotel, after conversion into a student residence, will be ready in 2020. It will house 400 students at moderate prices ranging from 900 reais to 2,300 reais per person.
Housing candidates must prove they are enrolled in educational courses from high school to post-graduate studies.
The hotel in Rio’s Flamengo district, dating from 1950, will be refurbished to have its 230 apartments furnished and equipped with living and service spaces for the students, including washing machines. Each apartment will have microwave ovens and wireless high-speed internet.
Established in 2012, Uliving has increased its portfolio with its partnership in 2018 with VBI Real Estate. The joint venture has announced intentions to spend R$500 (US$125) million in student housing by 2021. Apart from Rio’s two investments, Uliving already has five student units in the state of São Paulo–one each in Ribeirão Pretoand Sorocaba as well as three in São Paulo.
“Rio is a city teeming with educational institutions which are world-known,” Uliving’s executive director Juliano Attunes told the O Globo newspaper. “With this new project, we believe that Uliving also will revive Rio’s economy. We hope to attract more students and young professionals to the city as well as creating new jobs.”
The student residence is welcomed by Alfredo Lopes, President of the Brazilian Industry of Hotels in Rio. He claims that the sale of the hotel, which became famous thanks to the frequent visits of the King of Football, Pelé, is “normal”.
“New hotels are always appearing. And the offer of rooms also increased with the World Cup and Olympics in Rio. With new ventures, old hotels have to update their buildings and reforms are very expensive, especially under the economic crisis which Brazil is going through. But such movement is a renewal,” concludes Lopes.