Singapore: The Ascott acquires New York property, plans to invest $50m

Visual of Hotel Central Fifth Avenue New York living room. Credit: The Ascott

CapitaLand’s wholly-owned serviced residence business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), has acquired a prime property on New York’s Fifth Avenue and will invest close to $50 million (S$68 million) in it.

The property — an operating 125-unit Hotel Central Fifth Avenue New York — will undergo renovation in phases to prepare for its rebranding to Citadines Fifth Avenue New York in 2018. It will mark the debut of Ascott’s first Citadines serviced residence in the US. Citadines Fifth Avenue New York is forecast to have access to a big catchment of business travellers, due to its proximity to the offices of companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Verizon.

With this acquisition in New York, Ascott has added 10 properties with 1,900 units to date this year, across China, Brazil, South Korea and the US, in addition to opening four properties with more than 800 units. These include its first serviced residences in Jeju, South Korea and in Makassar, Indonesia; as well as properties in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Tokyo, Japan.

Ascott’s real estate investment trust, Ascott Residence Trust, also acquired the 369-unit Sheraton Tribeca New York Hotel and the 411-key Element New York Times Square West hotel in 2016 and 2015 respectively. Citadines Fifth Avenue New York will increase Ascott’s portfolio in the Americas to more than 1,100 units across five properties.

Lee Chee Koon, Ascott’s CEO, said: “The debut of our Citadines brand in North America is a significant move to expand Ascott’s global network of properties. Citadines is Ascott’s fastest growing brand having more than tripled its portfolio since our acquisition of the Citadines Apart’Hotels chain in Europe in 2004. We have since brought the brand to Asia Pacific, Middle East, South America and now the US.

“As a prominent showcase of the brand, Citadines Fifth Avenue New York will fast-track Ascott’s plans to expand our franchise business in North America. Franchise, together with investments, management contracts and strategic alliances, will continue to be key strategies to bolster Ascott’s leading position as we strive towards our target of 80,000 units globally by 2020,” he adds.

With the US being Ascott’s third largest source market for guests, as well as significant increases in average daily rate and occupancy in the past years – particularly in its Manhattan properties – Lee argues that the potential for long-term returns in the US market is attractive.

Lee also sees the introduction of the Citadines brand reinforcing the cross-selling of other properties in Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East, as well as strengthening its foothold in New York and generating opportunities for expansion in Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington DC.

Also Read:

Singapore: GuocoLand expands to UK & AUS; Ascott expands business in Brazil

Ascott REIT launches $313m rights issue to fund Germany & Singapore expansion

Singapore: CapitaLand-backed Ascott acquires Dublin’s Temple Bar Hotel in S$83.6m deal

Singapore: Ascott global fund JV picks London property in $74m deal

SG Dealbook: Yanlord buys two land parcels,Ascott launches Tujia Somerset serviced residences

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.