Ascott to debut Citadines brand in the US

George Sell George Sell Uploaded 05 May 2017

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US: The Ascott Limited has acquired a prime property on New York’s Fifth Avenue for conversion to a Citadines aparthotel.

Ascott will invest a close to US$50 million in the property - the 125-unit Hotel Central Fifth Avenue New York. It will undergo renovation in phases to prepare for its rebranding to Citadines Fifth Avenue New York in 2018.

The acquisition in New York follows Ascott's recent foray into South America through franchise agreements for two Citadines serviced residences in São Paulo, Brazil.  Ascott's real estate investment trust, Ascott Residence Trust, also acquired the 369-unit Sheraton Tribeca New York Hotel and the 411-key Element New York Times Square West hotel in 2016 and 2015 respectively. Citadines Fifth Avenue New York will increase Ascott's portfolio in the Americas to more than 1,100 units across five properties.
 
Lee Chee Koon, Ascott's CEO, said: "The debut of our Citadines brand in North America is a significant move to expand Ascott's global network of properties. Citadines is Ascott's fastest growing brand having more than tripled its portfolio since our acquisition of the Citadines Apart'hotel chain in Europe in 2004. We have since brought the brand to Asia Pacific, Middle East, South America and now the U.S. As a prominent showcase of the brand, Citadines Fifth Avenue New York will fast-track Ascott's plans to expand our franchise business in North America. Franchise together with investments, management contracts and strategic alliances will continue to be key strategies to bolster Ascott's leading position as we strive towards our target of 80,000 units globally by 2020."
 
"New York has registered significant increase in average daily rate and occupancy in the past years, particularly in Manhattan where we currently own two other prime properties through our real estate investment trust, Ascott Residence Trust. All three properties in Manhattan are in high demand with close to full occupancy given their strategic locations in Times Square, Tribeca and Fifth Avenue. For many of Ascott's customers who are accustomed to the quality service offerings of our award-winning brands, our first Citadines-branded property in the heart of the bustling New York City will further strengthen our global network and provide them with yet another prime accommodation option."
 
Lee added: "The U.S. will continue to be an economic powerhouse and its potential for long term returns is attractive. It is our third largest source market for guests and we expect this to grow. Bringing our Citadines brand to the U.S. will enhance our engagement with American customers, and reinforce the cross selling of our other properties in Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. Besides strengthening our foothold in New York, we also see opportunities for Ascott to expand in other U.S. cities such as Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington DC."
 
With this latest acquisition in New York, Ascott has added 10 properties with 1,900 units to date this year, across China, Brazil, South Korea and the U.S. Ascott has also opened four properties with more than 800 units. These include its first serviced residences in Jeju, South Korea and in Makassar, Indonesia; as well as properties in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Tokyo, Japan.

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