Q&A with Scott Orrantia, Senior Vice President & CIO at Oakwood Worldwide
- May 14, 2015
by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor
In a joint venture partnership with Singapore-based Mapletree Group, corporate housing leader Oakwood Worldwide has recently added a 300-unit Raleigh apartment community to its global portfolio. The acquisition marks the duo’s entry into the East Coast market, after having closed similar deals in Dallas and the Silicon Valley.
Q: Could you tell us more about your company’s recent Raleigh acquisition?
We’re very pleased to have added what is now known as Oakwood Raleigh at Brier Creek to our portfolio. It is a 300-unit contemporary building consisting of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments with world-class amenities including a heated pool, private theatre and sport courts. The property is located within a short drive of shops and restaurants and very close to major transport routes, including the I70 and Northern Wake Expressway; additionally it is a 15-minute drive to the Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
Q: Why has Oakwood selected Raleigh for its expansion and what is your outlook for the city’s corporate housing market?
In addition to Oakwood Worldwide having a number of clients already in the area, Raleigh, N.C. is recognized as one of the best places for business and careers in 2014 by Forbes magazine. It is home to Research Triangle, one of the country’s largest and most successful research parks and a major center in the United States for high-tech and biotech research. The quickly growing city has increasing career opportunities in education, medicine, technology and government sectors.
Demand for corporate apartments in the area currently exceeds the supply and continued business growth in the area will continue to drive demand for corporate housing.
Q: What’s your forecast for the international corporate housing market, and what kind of long-term results do you expect?
Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen more and more companies expanding outside the borders of their home country. Globalization is driving a demand for extended stays in established and emerging markets. Recruiting, retaining and developing talent in a truly competitive environment means corporations need an edge – especially for global assignees.
Q: What are your priorities and what challenges do you foresee?
Our top priority will always be to service our clients and guests and placing our guests wherever they need to be. We do this through a combination of Oakwood Worldwide-managed properties, our network of global suppliers, franchisees and hotel partners, and therefore have access to the largest global inventory of corporate housing and serviced apartments in more than 25,000 global locations in 85 countries and all 50 United States.
The biggest challenge for us as a corporate housing provider is meeting greater client demand for accommodations in smaller or remote cities, particularly in the APAC region, many of which have limited serviced accommodation options. This is why we recently launched our hotel desk in that region, allowing us to meet client demand anywhere they need to be.
Q: What are Oakwood Worldwide’s expansion plans?
As we have previously announced, we entered into a partnership with Mapletree Group where we stated that we are planning to open 100 new branded-properties around the world over a five-year period.
In addition to this growth in our branded-building portfolio, we continued to expand our presence in key global markets through our robust global supplier market, allowing us to offer our clients greater choice and more customized solutions.