Singapore-based REIT acquires Element hotel in Manhattan

1Singapore's Ascott Residence Trust is buying in New York. The REIT is reportedly set to acquire the 411-room Element New York Times Square West hotel for $163.5 million. It would mark the group's first U.S. acquisition. The hotel will continue to be operated under the Element brand through a franchise agreement between LG-39 Management LLC and Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

The deal signals another in a growing trend of overseas group's parking money in the U.S., where the economy is outperforming other countries.

"Our first acquisition in the US is a strategic step that will enable us to capitalise on the burgeoning hospitality market," Lim Jit Poh, chairman of Ascott Residence Trust Management, told Travel Daily Asia. "The U.S. economy has been growing steadily in the past few years and is forecasted to expand by 2.4percent in 2015 and 2.5 percent in 2016. With future demand growth expected to continue to outpace supply, we are confident that this acquisition will further enhance Ascott Reit’s portfolio and unit-holders’ returns."

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Ascott launched in Asia Pacific in 2006, expanded to Europe in 2010 and recently acquired three serviced residences and four rental housing properties in Australia and Japan, Travel Daily Asia notes.