The developer of private rented homes, including its flagship 35-storey Angel Gardens in Manchester, has hired Richard Smith as managing director of operational subsidiary Moda Life Management.
The newly created role is intended to help Moda Living strengthen the hospitality and service provision elements of its £2.5bn residential portfolio, the company said.
An experienced hospitality industry professional Smith has held senior roles at the Marriott and De Vere hotel groups – most recently as brand and operations director at De Vere, part of Starwood Capital Group.
Prior to that, he was managing director of the five-star Oakley Court Hotel in Windsor, after three years as a general manager for hotels within Starwood’s Principal Hotel Company portfolio.
In his role at Moda, he will be tasked with growing Moda Life’s operations and profile as a serviced living and lifestyle provider. He will be living much of the time in Manchester within the 466-unit Angel Gardens, according to Moda, although he will report to the company’s head office in Harrogate and have a national remit.
Smith’s focus initially will be on building a team of Moda Life representatives in every Moda neighbourhood across the UK, including general managers, community managers and in-house concierge teams.
In the North West, Moda is also building The Lexington in Liverpool, a 34-storey tower on Liverpool Waters that will deliver 325 homes and topped out in August. The company is backed by funder Apache Capital Partners.
Smith “will bring hospitality to BTR for the first at scale, and in doing nurture a long-term culture for the Moda Brand with a focus on resident experience and interaction”, Moda said in a statement.
Smith said: “By communicating that a Moda neighbourhood is so much more than four walls, we can transform the residential sector and deliver experiences to residents previously associated with an exclusive hospitality environment.”
He added: “There is still much work to be done on educating what BTR really represents in the UK. We will build a community culture that is customised to whichever city we are operating in, while ensuring that siloed teams across the UK maintain a core set of brand standards irrespective of location or target resident.”