CDL invests $14.8m in China co-working space operator Distrii

Distrii’s co-working facility at Suhe Centre features an in-house cafe, a gymnasium, interior green landscaping, an indoor event space and 500 square metres of outdoor event space with lush greenery and river views.
Distrii’s co-working facility at Suhe Centre features an in-house cafe, a gymnasium, interior green landscaping, an indoor event space and 500 square metres of outdoor event space with lush greenery and river views.PHOTO: CITY DEVELOPMENTS LTD

SINGAPORE - City Developments Ltd said on Thursday (Jan 19) that it has signed an agreement to invest 72 million yuan (S$14.8 million) for a 24 per cent stake in Distrii, an operator of co-working spaces in China.

Marking its first international foray, Distrii will lease more than 60,000 square feet of space at CDL's Republic Plaza Tower 1, a prime Grade A office building connected to the Raffles Place MRT Station.

Expected to be one of the largest co-working facilities in Singapore, it will integrate food and beverage, entertainment, recreational and office facilities, said CDL.

Distrii's co-working facility at Republic Plaza is expected to open in the first half of 2018 as the space is still leased out.

Distrii will also be opening a new facility in Beijing in the first half of 2017 and plans to further expand in this city as well as in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and other global gateway cities. Its nine existing locations in Shanghai are at 80 per cent capacity.

Last year, Distrii secured an angel investment from an investment arm of Huazhu Hotels Group (Huazhu). Nasdaq-listed Huazhu currently owns and operates over 3,000 hotels across 350 cities in China.

Said Mr Sherman Kwek, CDL deputy chief executive officer: "In line with CDL's strategic diversification, we have been actively looking for innovative offerings and new growth platforms that are complementary to our core businesses of real estate and hospitality.

"With the burgeoning sharing economy, an increasingly mobile workforce and a greater requirement for flexibility, we see strong potential in co-working spaces and the demand for them has been rapidly growing. Our investment in Distrii enables us to immediately gain entry into the sector and will contribute to CDL's long-term recurring income streams."