Singapore-listed CapitaLand’s wholly-owned lodging business Ascott has added 14 properties comprising over 2,000 units across eight countries to its managing portfolio.
These countries include China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and Saudi Arabia. Three of the 14 new assets are co-living facilities under Ascott’s own brand “lyf”, located in Fukuoka in Japan, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and Shanghai in China.
Under a partnership with Japanese real estate firm NTT Urban Development Corporation, Ascott will manage lyf Fukuoka1 as well as jointly explore serviced residence opportunities in Japan, it said in a statement.
Ascott targets to open the 131-unit lyf property in the Fukuoka’s major retail and recreational centre in 2020. The Raja Chulan Kuala Lumpur lyf facility will also be launched in the same year, while the 160-unit Hongqiao Shanghai is set to open in 2022.
These three additions have brought Ascott’s lyf portfolio to eight properties with over 1,600 units under development in Singapore, China, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. Its first lyf location in Singapore is expected to open in the fourth quarter this year.
“Demand for our lyf-branded co-living properties is gaining ground. We are bringing lyf to Fukuoka, Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai as the buzzing start-up ecosystems in these cities have given rise to a popular culture of living and co-creating as a community among the millennials,” said Ascott CEO Kevin Goh.
The firm’s newest lyf properties have prime locations in the cities’ major commercial and recreational hubs with proximity to tech unicorn companies.
lyf was designed to target the millennials, who account for a quarter of Ascott’s customer base, the company said.
It is looking at expanding the brand to other markets including Australia, France, Germany, Indonesia and the UK.
The 14 new properties also marked Ascott’s foray into Changchun, the second largest city in Northeast China, and deepened its presence in other cities of the eight countries.
In Germany, Ascott will bring its Ascott The Residence brand with the 100-unit Ascott Riverpark Tower Frankfurt, targeted to open in 2022.
It has formed strategic alliance with Nasdaq-listed Huazhu Hotels Group and its subsidiary CJIA Apartments Group in China, and with Ananda Development in Thailand, to develop local properties.
“Besides management contracts, Ascott’s strategic alliances with market leaders such as NTT Urban Development Corporation in Japan, Huazhu Hotels Group in China and Ananda Development in Thailand continue to provide us with a strong pipeline of properties. In addition to the 14 new properties, we secured our first property in Australia under our recently launched Citadines Connect brand of select-service business hotels,” said Goh.
He added that Ascott’s expansion will reach 160,000 units globally by 2023. The company currently has 101,000 units under management and development in over 670 properties.