31 October 17 The Business Times by LYNETTE KHOO
THE Ascott Limited, the serviced residence arm of CapitaLand, is beefing up its presence in Singapore with new contracts to manage two properties in the CBD and the new Ophir-Rochor Corridor.
Both properties, offering a total of more than 600 units, will operate under the Citadines brand, it said on Monday.
The 299-unit Citadines property in Raffles Place and the 320-unit Citadines Rochor Singapore are slated to open in 2021 and 2020 respectively. They will be the two largest properties managed by Ascott in Singapore.
The latest development more than doubles Citadines' portfolio in Singapore to 989 units across five properties to become the country's leading serviced residence brand with the most number of units.
We see strong potential for Ascott to expand in Singapore as the government is ramping up efforts to attract multinational companies and innovative startups as part of its drive to shape Singapore's future economy, said Ervin Yeo, Ascott's regional general manager for Singapore and Malaysia.
We also see opportunities to cater to the new catchment of working professionals with Singapore's push for decentralisation of offices to new commercial hubs beyond the CBD, Mr Yeo added.
The Citadines property in Raffles Place will be designed to appeal to the professionals working in the heart of Singapore's financial hub. It is part of a future landmark integrated development, to be redeveloped on the site of the former Golden Shoe Car Park by a joint venture formed by CapitaLand, CapitaLand Commercial Trust and Mitsubishi Estate Co Ltd.
As for Citadines Rochor Singapore, it is part of an upcoming integrated development that will also have a retail podium. Ascott has been awarded the contract to manage the serviced residence by property and construction group Lum Chang Holdings and a fund managed by LaSalle Investment Management Asia, which will jointly build the integrated development on the site of the former The Verge mall.
Citadines Rochor Singapore enjoys a prime location close to the Ophir-Rochor Corridor and Beach Road area - emerging commercial hubs with large-scale integrated developments, offices, as well as recreational and cultural attractions. Adding our two biggest properties in Singapore will enable us to cater to the expected growing demand for accommodation, said Mr Yeo.
In a regulatory filing on Monday, Lum Chang Holdings said the development of the integrated project on the site of the former The Verge is expected to be completed in the second half of 2019.
With the appointment of Ascott to manage the serviced residence there, Ascott will provide the full spectrum of management services, including consultancy on design of the serviced residence, Lum Chang added.
Across its brands, Ascott has close to 2,300 units across 13 properties in Singapore, having added five properties here in the last five months.
Ascott Raffles Place Singapore has been achieving a strong average occupancy rate of 80 per cent, above the 77 per cent average occupancy of other serviced residences in the district.
Meanwhile, Citadines Mount Sophia Singapore and Somerset Bencoolen Singapore, which are in the vicinity of Citadines Rochor Singapore, have enjoyed an average occupancy rate of about 85 per cent, beating the industry performance of 77 per cent based on August figures from Serviced Apartments Association of Singapore.