SINGAPORE – CapitaLand’s wholly owned serviced residence business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), has secured contracts to manage its first three properties under its latest brand, lyf, in its two key markets – China and Singapore. This marks the launch of Ascott’s new co-living concept in China as Ascott seizes to capture the booming millennial market and shape the future of travel. Signifying a new way of living and collaborating as a community, Ascott is showcasing its first lyf property, the 112-unit lyf Wu Tong Island Shenzhen which will open in the first half of 2018. The 120-unit lyf DDA Dalian is scheduled to open in end 2018 while lyf Farrer Park Singapore, the biggest of the three lyf properties with 240 units, is slated to open in 2021.
Mr Lee Chee Koon, Ascott’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Since Ascott unveiled the lyf brand in Singapore last November, we have received very strong interest in this new co-living concept designed by millennials for the growing wave of millennial and millennial-minded travellers, such as technopreneurs, startups and those in the creative industries. We are excited to be launching lyf in China with two properties and to have secured our first in Singapore. These trailblazing lyf properties not only enjoy prime locations with a ready catchment of business and leisure travellers, they also offer vibrant spaces for these change-makers to build new connections and co-create with the community therein.”
Mr Lee added: “With the launch of lyf in these two key markets for Ascott, we are gathering momentum to capture this booming social generation. Already accounting for a quarter of Ascott’s customer base, millennials are expected to be the largest spending travel demographic by 2020. China is amongst Ascott’s top customers globally and has the world’s second largest millennial population. As global fintech hubs, China and Singapore are also homes to start-ups raking in billion-dollar deals. We are therefore expecting to see more lyf properties in gateway cities in China as well as another lyf in downtown Singapore. Ascott is also actively looking at other potential markets including Australia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and the United Kingdom, as we work towards achieving our target of 10,000 units under the lyf brand globally by 2020.”
Located in the economic zone or innovation park, these three lyf properties will provide conducive environments in which innovation and creativity can thrive. lyf Wu Tong Island Shenzhen is situated in an innovation park named Wu Tong Island that has 24 office buildings leased to firms in the technology, design, media and tourism industries. lyf DDA Dalian is in the Dalian Development Area (DDA), China’s first Economic and Technological Development Zones that is home to start-ups, local and foreign enterprises, including Fortune 500 companies.
lyf Farrer Park Singapore is conveniently located in the Central Region of Singapore and a short 15-minute drive from the Central Business District.
Ascott first unveiled the lyf brand in Singapore in November 2016, and it set up the serviced residence industry’s first-of-its-kind living lab to field test co-living concepts for lyf in February 2017. Working in partnership with the Singapore Management University, the lyf@SMU living lab will translate data into actionable insights so that upcoming lyf properties are tailor made for Ascott’s target customers.
lyf will provide global jetsetters and trendsetters with the opportunity to ‘live your freedom’ in a dynamic environment and network with like-minded creatives from technopreneurs, start-up owners to individuals from the music, media and fashion industries, to bring more ideas to life.
While each lyf property will offer unique features reflective of the local culture, all will provide communal spaces to cater to millennials’ preferences to connect, collaborate and bond as a community. These spaces can be easily converted into zones for social activities such as hackathons, innovation talks, music jamming sessions, cooking sessions, or workshops with artisans. lyf properties will be managed by millennials who are community managers, city and food guides, bar keepers and problem solvers all rolled into one.
With the addition of the three lyf properties offering more than 470 units, Ascott’s portfolio in Singapore will increase to over 1,200 units across nine properties, and that in China to over 17,600 units across 97 properties.