The Ascott Group Boosts Singapore Presence with Two Citadines and A Luxurious 'All Suites' Ascott
Singapore, 28 September 2006 – As part of its aggressive expansion drive, The Ascott Group (Ascott) will add two Citadines and a luxurious ‘all suites’ Ascott to its presence in Singapore. The addition of these properties brings its total portfolio to more than 1,300 units in 13 properties in Singapore. The Group’s target is to achieve 1,600 units by 2010.
Ascott’s 13 properties are located in prime districts of Singapore including Orchard Road, Scotts Road, Clarke Quay, the Central Business District, the new Business and Financial Centre, and the upcoming Arts and Entertainment hub in the Bras Basah-Bugis area.
The two Citadines residences are the first properties in Singapore under the Group’s European brand. They are; Citadines Singapore Scotts which Ascott will convert from the recently acquired Hotel Asia along Scotts Road, and Citadines Singapore Mount Sophia, a serviced residence under development by CapitaLand’s wholly-owned subsidiary, CapitaLand Commercial and Integrated Development Limited (CCID), at the former Selegie Complex site.
Ascott will also transform the recently acquired 20-storey historic Asia Insurance Building into a luxurious ‘all suites’ property, to be named Ascott Singapore Raffles Place.
Mr Liew Mun Leong, Ascott’s Deputy Chairman, and President and CEO of its parent company CapitaLand Group said: “We are now scaling up the serviced residence business in Singapore by re-establishing an Ascott luxury brand with not only an excellent address along Raffles Place but also at a historically-significant site. When it opens in the first half of 2008, Ascott Singapore Raffles Place will cater to the accommodation needs of the business, financial, as well as leisure and entertainment communities operating within the core Raffles Place and Marina Bay area. It will be the Group’s flagship property in Singapore.”
“The Group has also introduced the Citadines brand to the increasingly segmented tourism market in Singapore. In addition to the existing Somerset Bencoolen, Citadines Singapore Mount Sophia will also cater to the bustling arts and educational hub in the area. Ascott will have 10 other Citadines properties in Asia to be opened by the end of 2008 besides the two Citadines in Singapore. With these initiatives, The Ascott Group will further strengthen its pole position in the serviced residence business in Asia,” added Mr Liew.
Citadines Singapore Scotts
The 148-unit Citadines Singapore Scotts is targeted to be opened in the middle of 2007 with studio and one-bedroom units. The size of the units ranges from 30 square metres to 48 square metres.
Started in the 1970’s, Hotel Asia was acquired by Ascott in July 2006 for about S$104 million. It is within walking distance to Newton Mass Rapid Transit Station and close to Orchard Road, Singapore's prime shopping and entertainment belt.
Mr Cameron Ong, Ascott’s Managing Director and CEO said: “The conversion of Hotel Asia will demonstrate Ascott’s expertise to turn existing buildings into high-yield properties. We want to reduce time-to-market and capitalise on the buoyant market conditions to boost Ascott’s revenue growth. By converting Hotel Asia instead of rebuilding it, we will reduce our capital outlay by a significant 80%, and will have Citadines Singapore Scotts operating in five months’ time instead of three years, after we start the conversion.”
Citadines Singapore Mount Sophia
Ascott has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with CCID to manage the 160-unit Citadines Singapore Mount Sophia. The serviced residence is part of an integrated development which is being developed by CCID. The integrated development components comprise serviced residences, office, SOHO (Small Office Home Office), retail and food & beverage - a mix that will appeal to the young and trendy, the creative services community, working professionals as well as the growing number of people who reside in the area.
The serviced residence measures about 10,000 square metres of the integrated development’s total gross floor area of close to 30,000 square metres.
Ascott will manage the serviced residence for 10 years, with an option to renew for another 10 years. Citadines Singapore Mount Sophia is targeted to be opened in the second half of 2008 with studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units.
Located along Wilkie Road and Sophia Road, the property is a 10-minute walk to Dhoby Ghaut Mass Rapid Transit Station. It is also near Prinsep Street, a prime food & beverage and entertainment zone with a mélange of restaurants, cafes and pubs. Close by is an education hub where several educational institutions are located.
Citadines Singapore Mount Sophia enjoys a prime location as the Bras Basah-Bugis area has been slated by the Singapore government to be revitalised into an Arts, Culture, Learning and Entertainment hub.
Mr Ong said: “According to Singapore Tourism Board, 9.4 million visitors are expected in 2006, a 5% increase from last year. By 2015, this figure is expected to hit 17 million. Strong demand for accommodation in Singapore is expected to continue. Having more properties and a second Citadines operating by 2008 will boost Ascott’s offering. We anticipate demand for accommodation to surge in the next three years or so when many of the major projects in Singapore including the Business and Financial Centre, Marina Bay Integrated Resort as well as the Singapore Flyer will be ready or well underway.”
Ascott Singapore Raffles Place
To redefine the concept of luxurious living, Ascott will convert Asia Insurance Building which it acquired in July 2006 for about S$110 million, into an Ascott branded property. The building will be renamed Ascott Singapore Raffles Place when it opens in the first half of 2008. It will be the Group’s flagship property in Singapore when its management contract for Ascott Singapore Scotts expires by the end of this year.
Ascott will preserve the unique features of the building including the external building façade, the crown on the top of the building, a brass mail chute, the mosaic staircase with timber railing, the black granite five-footway around the perimeter of the building, as well as two black granite pillars at the front.
Mr Ong said: “The foundation for Asia Insurance Building was laid by the Honourable Malcolm Macdonald, former Commissioner General for South East Asia in 1953, and it was billed as the tallest building in Southeast Asia in the 1950’s. Commissioner Macdonald was then quoted as saying – ‘It is a most distinguished landmark, seen from miles in every direction. I wish it a long and useful life in one of the world’s greatest commercial centres’ - Ascott will preserve this historic legacy and iconic landmark including the crown of the building which was installed to mark the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.”
“Ascott Singapore Raffles Place will have a commanding view of the Marina Bay Integrated Resort. It has an unbeatable prime address between the old and new business and financial districts, the facilities and finishing will give travellers to Singapore a new level of luxurious living,” added Mr Ong.
Designed to meet the needs of well-heeled travellers, Ascott Singapore Raffles Place will have about 154 luxuriously-furnished suites with varying sizes ranging from about 50 square metres for a junior suite to 180 square metres for a three-bedroom premier suite.
Each suite at Ascott Singapore Raffles Place will offer up to 50% more space compared to a typical hotel suite, complete with fully-equipped kitchen, luxurious living and dining areas, as well as an ensuite bedroom.
With the addition of these properties, business travellers to Singapore will also be able to choose from the Group’s three brands, Ascott, Somerset and Citadines according to their lifestyle and needs. Ascott will cater to top management business executives, Somerset to upper management business executives and their families; and Citadines to young executives and single travellers.
About The Ascott Group
The Ascott Group is the largest international serviced residence owner-operator outside the United States with close to 17,000 serviced residence units in key cities of Asia Pacific, Europe and the Gulf region.
The Group operates three brands –Ascott, Somerset and Citadines in 44 cities in 18 countries. These include London, Paris, Brussels, Berlin and Barcelona in Europe; Singapore, Bangkok, Pattaya, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing, Xi’an, Hong Kong, and Chennai in Asia; Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland in Australia / New Zealand as well as Dubai in the Gulf region.
The Ascott Group is headquartered in Singapore. It pioneered Asia Pacific's first branded luxury serviced residence in 1984. It also established the world’s first pan-Asian serviced residence real estate investment trust, Ascott Residence Trust in 2006. Today, the Group boasts a 22-year industry track record and serviced residence brands that enjoy recognition worldwide.
The Ascott Group’s achievements have been recognised internationally; it has clinched numerous prestigious awards including the top honor at the 2006 World Travel Awards, Business Traveller Asia Pacific’s 2006 ‘Best Serviced Residence Brand’ and ‘Best Serviced Residence’ awards, ‘Most Outstanding International Brand’ award from Apartment Living magazine in Thailand, ‘2006 Korea Top Brand’ award by Seoul Economy newspaper, Korea Herald’s ‘Readers’ Best Brand Awards 2006’, ‘2006 Best Company & CEO’ award from the Herald Business in Korea, the ‘Best Serviced Residence Brand’ award by Lifestyle + Travel magazine in Thailand, the ‘Innovative Capital Venture’ award at the 2006 China Hotel Investment Summit, 2006 ‘China’s Top 100 Serviced Apartments’ award, Korea Times’ ‘Best International Serviced Residence Brand’ award, the ‘Highly Commended Deluxe Accommodation’ award at the 2005 Tasmanian Tourism Awards, ‘Best Accommodation’ at the 2005 World Travel Awards, TTG Asia Media’s 2005 ‘Best Serviced Residence Operator’ award, and the Business Traveller Asia Pacific’s 2005 ‘Best Serviced Residence Brand’ and ‘Best Serviced Residence’ awards. For a full list of awards, please visit : https://www.the-ascott.com/aboutus/awards_and_accolades.html?year=2007
Listed on the mainboard of the Singapore Exchange, The Ascott Group is the serviced residence arm of CapitaLand Limited, one of Asia’s largest listed real estate companies. Headquartered in Singapore, the multinational company's core businesses in property, hospitality and real estate financial services are focused in gateway cities in Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. Its property and hospitality portfolio spans more than 80 cities in nearly 20 countries.
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