SINGAPORE - CapitaLand'S wholly-owned lodging business unit, The Ascott, is adding over 1,000 units across six new properties in Australia, China and the Philippines, under its co-living brand lyf.
With this, Ascott will have a total of 14 lyf properties with over 2,700 units, the company said in a press statement on Thursday (July 30). Thirteen of these properties are slated to open between 2020 and 2024.
Among the six new properties, Ascott has bagged contracts for lyf Malate Manila, its second lyf property in the Philippines, as well as four new lyf properties across China - lyf Shougang Park Beijing, lyf Midtown Hangzhou, lyf Zhangjiang Shanghai, and lyf Dayanta Xi'an. It has also secured its first lyf property in Australia, namely, lyf Collingwood Melbourne.
Separately, Ascott is set to open its first lyf property in Bangkok, Thailand on Friday. This comes after it opened lyf Funan Singapore last September, which was targeted at millennials.
The 196-unit lyf Sukhumvit 8 Bangkok is within walking distance to the Nana BTS Skytrain station and one train stop from shopping destination, Terminal 21. It is also three BTS stations away from Siam, the city's main lifestyle hub for retail, dining and co-working.
Kevin Goh, Ascott's chief executive officer (CEO) and CapitaLand's CEO for lodging, said Ascott's portfolio continues to be supported by a "strong base" of long-stay guests comprising locals, expatriates and corporates, despite Covid-19 and challenges in the global hospitality industry.
"lyf is a hybrid lodging solution that combines the best of serviced residences, hotels and co-living apartments. It is designed for guests on long stay with the flexibility to take in short stay," he said.
"The value and demand for lyf is evident in the performance of our first operating lyf property, lyf Funan Singapore, where guests could stay with us safely and comfortably throughout the Covid-19 period," Mr Goh said, adding that the Funan outlet achieved an average occupancy rate of 86 per cent from April to June 2020.
Joel Oei, head of lyf, said the brand took its community engagement activities online and conducted virtual tours and digital-first marketing campaigns to expand its reach amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Creatively designed and multi-functional living spaces at lyf offer more flexibility and efficiency for our guests, many of whom were expected to work remotely. lyf apartments can be easily adapted into private work suites with flexible tenures," Mr Oei said.
Looking ahead, Ascott is looking out for opportunities to introduce lyf to key gateway cities in France, Germany, Indonesia, Netherlands, South Korea, Vietnam and the UK.
Shares of CapitaLand were trading at $2.80 as at 9.13am on Thursday, up $0.04 or 1.5 per cent.