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Thu, 2 June 2022

Ascott Opens First lyf in Australia; Buying Another in Sydney

(02 June 2022, 15:44 +07)  Ascott is in the process of acquiring its first lyf-branded co-living property in Sydney, Australia.

The acquisition of the freehold asset is being done via the Ascott Serviced Residence Global Fund (ASRGF), Ascotts private equity fund with the Qatar Investment Authority.

It is ASRGFs third investment in 2022, following the acquisition of Somerset Hangzhou Bay Ningbo and Citadines Canal Amsterdam in March 2022.

To date, ASRGF has invested in 12 properties for close to US$500 million.

To be named lyf Bondi Junction Sydney, the 197-unit co-living property is slated to open in 2024.

Room at lyf Collingwood Melbourne. Click to enlarge.
Room at lyf Collingwood Melbourne

Located in Bondi Junction, Sydneys fifth largest business district and one of the citys most affluent residential areas, lyf Bondi Junction Sydney will be close to Sydneys public transportation network and a short drive from Sydneys central business district (CBD). The iconic Bondi Beach is a seven-minute drive away.

Ascott currently has 18 lyf properties with over 3,400 units across 14 cities in nine countries. This includes three lyf properties that are slated to open in 2022 in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Xian. Seven other lyf properties are scheduled to open in Beijing, Cebu, Danang, Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Manila, Paris and Sydney by 2025. To date, Ascott has opened eight lyf properties in Australia, China, Singapore, Japan and Thailand.

Mr Mak Hoe Kit, Ascotts Managing Director for Lodging Private Equity Funds and Head of Business Development, said, lyf Bondi Junction Sydney is a rare purpose-built asset in a highly sought-after location for business and tourism. We expect the co-living property to perform well as Sydney boasts a vibrant start-up ecosystem and is amongst the top gateway cities globally.

In addition to the acquisition of lyf Bondi Junction Sydney, Ascott has opened its first lyf property in Australia - the 105-unit lyf Collingwood Melbourne.

Located a two-minute walk from Smith Street, the property is surrounded by many different retail options, from chic fashion boutiques, edgy art galleries to quirky homeware stores, as well as some of the citys most popular restaurants and bars. The citys CBD is a 10-minute tram ride away.

lyf Collingwood Melbourne features a social lounge and co-working space equipped with high-speed Wi-Fi and charging outlets, social kitchen where guests make their own meals, a launderette with an arcade-style games machine, as well as multi-purpose spaces for meetings.

A range of apartment types include One of a Kind or One of a Kind Plus studios that are ideal for singles or couples, Two of a Kind apartments, designed for groups of friends or colleagues travelling together and feature  side-by-side doors with separate lockable entrances as well as a shared kitchen that comes with stylish SMEG appliance.

In addition, lyf Collingwood Melbourne is a pet-friendly property, offering the guests pet a bed, blanket, food bowl, treat and toy.

As a vertically-integrated global lodging business with a strong foothold in Asia, Ascott is able to leverage our full suite of real estate investment and management capabilities to add another quality asset to ASRGFs portfolio. lyf has proven to not only be a popular but resilient brand, said Kevin Goh, CLIs Chief Executive Officer for Lodging. lyf one-north Singapore, owned by Ascott Residence Trust, has a strong occupancy rate of about 90% since its opening in November 2021. lyf Funan Singapore, which is owned by ASRGF, opened in 2019 and it also enjoys a robust average occupancy rate of almost 90%, outperforming its peers despite COVID19. With the short supply of professionally-managed co-living properties in Australia, Ascott is set to raise the bar for the co-living sector as we expand the lyf brand in the country. We continue to see attractive opportunities to grow our lyf brand through our private funds and Ascott Residence Trust as well as via management contracts.

Ascott developed lyf as a solution that combines the best of serviced residences, hotels and co-living apartments. Designed for next-generation guests, the apartments, social spaces and experiential programmes at lyf properties are designed for guests to forge connections and nurture a strong sense of community.

With the acquisition of lyf Bondi Junction Sydney, there will be 11 properties with about 2,200 units held under ASRGF. The fund has five operational properties Ascott Sudirman Jakarta, La Clef Champs-lyses Paris, Citadines Islington London, lyf Funan Singapore and Quest NewQuay Docklands Melbourne.

Properties under development include lyf Gambetta Paris, Ascotts first lyf-branded co-living property in Europe, and Somerset Metropolitan West Hanoi. Both properties were acquired in June 2021 and are expected to open in 2024.

Citadines Walker North Sydney is slated to launch in December 2022.

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