Ascott signs new partnership deals for hotel expansion in Asia

(Image: CapitaLand) Ascott Songshan Lake Dongguan and Citadines Songshan Lake Dongguan, China. Photo credit: CapitaLand

CapitaLand's wholly owned serviced residence subsidiary The Ascott has partnered with three developers in China, Japan and Thailand to expand its presence in Asia. Ascott will manage the apartment buildings currently under development along with future projects developed by these companies.

Ascott has partnered with developer Riverside Group to launch serviced residences in Zhejiang, Chongqing and future riverside towns in other key cities. The first projects developed through the partnership will be two serviced residences with a total of 350 units in Zhejiang and Chongqing. The new signing follows Ascott's deal with Riverside Group to manage the 190-unit Ascott Riverside Garden Beijing, which opened in November 2017.

Ascott's second new partnership is with Japanese real estate company NTT Urban Development, a subsidiary of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone. The two groups will jointly seek out serviced residence opportunities in Japan while they develop two existing projects in Fukuoka and Yokohama.

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Meanwhile, Thailand's Ananda Development has expanded into the serviced residence market through its partnership with Ascott. Their first four properties—Somerset Rama 9 Bangkok, Ascott Embassy Sathorn Bangkok, Ascott Thonglor Bangkok and another in Sukhumvit 8—will have a combined total of almost 1,500 apartment units in the capital city when they open between 2020 and 2021. These will join Ascott's 21 existing properties with more than 4,300 units across Bangkok, Pattaya and Sri Racha, Thailand.

These new residences are part of Ascott's plans to have 80,000 operating units worldwide in 2018 and double its portfolio to 160,000 units by 2023. The group added 1,607 units in January and February this year. Now, it is set to add management and lease agreements for an additional 14 properties with approximately 3,400 apartment units in 10 cities in China, Japan, Thailand and Indonesia during the second quarter of 2018. These deals include a lease agreement with the Takashimaya department store chain to operate Osaka's first Citadines Apart'hotel. The newly signed properties, which are slated to open by 2021, will mark the company's entry into Dongguan and Huizhou in China's Greater Bay Area. They will also expand Ascott's presence in Dalian, Haikou, Hong Kong, Nantong and Shanghai, China, Osaka, Japan, Bangkok, Thailand and Bandung, Indonesia. 

The eight new additions in China will bring Ascott's total unit number in the country to more than 21,500 in 118 properties across 33 cities. These are the Ascott Songshan Lake Dongguan, Citadines Songshan Lake Dongguan, Citadines Putuo Xiangyi Shanghai, Somerset Golden Pebble Winery Dalian, Tujia Somerset Centreville Haikou Serviced Residence, Tujia Somerset Jinshan Lake Huizhou Serviced Residence, Harmony City Elite Apartment Nantong and Hotel Purple Hong Kong.

In Japan, Ascott has more than 3,100 units in 24 properties across eight cities. The group will operate the upcoming Citadines Apart'hotel in Osaka along with its existing seven serviced residences and 16 properties for corporate lease in the country. Ascott is also set to have more than 3,000 units in 17 properties across seven cities in Indonesia following the addition of Somerset Asia Afrika Bandung, which is opening in 2019.

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