Ascott Reit acquires site at one-north for co-living property

An artist's impression of co-living property lyf one-north Singapore, to be developed by Ascott Residence Trust. It is slated to obtain its temporary occupation permit by 2020 and open in 2021.
An artist's impression of co-living property lyf one-north Singapore, to be developed by Ascott Residence Trust. It is slated to obtain its temporary occupation permit by 2020 and open in 2021.PHOTO: THE ASCOTT LIMITED

Ascott Residence Trust (Ascott Reit) has acquired a prime greenfield site at one-north for $62.4 million for its first development project, which will be a co-living property.

The property to be developed on the 60-year leasehold site at Nepal Hill will be managed by the Reit's sponsor, The Ascott, under its co-living brand, lyf.

To be named lyf one-north Singapore, the property will offer 324 units over a gross floor area of more than 73,447 sq ft. It is slated to obtain its temporary occupation permit by 2020 and open in 2021.

It is located next to one-north MRT Station and is a 30-minute ride to the Central Business District.

Ms Beh Siew Kim, chief executive of Ascott Residence Trust Management, said demand for the property is expected to be strong.

"(It) will cater to the ready pool of young entrepreneurs, millennials and professionals in the vibrant cluster that hosts prominent research and knowledge-based organisations, start-ups as well as business schools," she said.

TARGET MARKET

(It) will cater to the ready pool of young entrepreneurs, millennials and professionals in the vibrant cluster that hosts prominent research and knowledge-based organisations, start-ups as well as business schools.

MS BEH SIEW KIM, chief executive of Ascott Residence Trust Management, on the co-living development.

One-north, Singapore's research and innovation business hub, has attracted more than $7 billion worth of investments in key growth sectors such as biomedical sciences, information communications technology and media. It is also home to several world-renowned business schools and corporate universities.

The site, which was put up for sale by JTC Corporation in a two-envelope concept and price tender, received four bids.

Ascott Reit's $62.4 million bid was the highest of the four and nearly $13 million more than the second-highest bid of $49.5 million by Ascendas Nepal Hill Property.

The Reit's proposal features creative use of communal spaces and comprehensive programmes to promote social bonding, wellness, personal development and business networking.

Mr Bob Tan, chairman of Ascott Residence Trust Management, said: "Compared to acquiring completed properties, this investment not only allows us to have an early entry at a lower cost, enjoy development profits, but we can also expect higher yield in the long term."

He added: "The strong government support and private sector investment in one-north give us further confidence to invest in the site."

Guests can expect a fully digital customer experience and communal amenities such as a lap pool, social kitchen, fitness area, barbecue garden and residents' lounge.

Said Mr Aaron Tham, JTC's director of new estates: "lyf one-north Singapore's contemporary architectural design and community building programmes will provide an attractive accommodation option for working professionals.

"This contributes to JTC's initiatives to create a vibrant and conducive environment in one-north for innovative minds to congregate, collaborate and create."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 21, 2018, with the headline 'Ascott Reit acquires site at one-north for co-living property'. Print Edition | Subscribe