16 June 2017

The Ascott Limited launches its first lyf property in China

Source: The Ascott Limited. The lyf Wu Tong Island Shenzhen.
Source: The Ascott Limited. The lyf Wu Tong Island Shenzhen.
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.

All three lyf properties will provide conducive environments in which innovation and creativity can thrive. the 112-unit Lyf Wu Tong Island Shenzhen is 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 Wu Tong Island Shenzhen will open in H18.

Lyf DDA Dalian is in the Dalian Development Area (DDA), China’s first economic and technological development. The 120-unit lyf DDA Dalian is scheduled to open end-2018 while lyf Farrer Park Singapore, the biggest of the three lyf properties with 240 units, is slated to open in 2021.

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, and problem solvers all rolled into one.

Lee Chee Koon, Ascott’s CEO, 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.”

Lee added that Millennials already account for a quarter of Ascott’s customer base. "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 UK, as we work towards achieving our target of 10,000 units under the lyf brand globally by 2020.”

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 tailormade for Ascott’s target customers.
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.

* Where are the Global Millennials? (July 2016), AT Kearney  
**A tale of 44 cities; Connecting Global FinTech: Interim Hub Review 2017 (April 2017), Deloitte