CAPITALAND’S wholly-owned lodging business unit, The Ascott Ltd, is blurring the line between office property and hospitality.

And it could extend the usage of its space for industrial purposes too, as the company strives to fill a hole left by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ascott on Thursday launched a “work-in-residence” initiative to transform selected apartments worldwide into work suites for use during the day.

Guests, corporates and students seeking alternative locations to work-from-home or study can book work suites across over 60 participating properties in more than 30 cities over 10 countries, the company said.

Guests can choose from daily, weekly or monthly packages.

Rates vary depending on the length of use and location, a company spokesperson said in response to questions from The Business Times on Thursday.

For instance, rates start at S$70++ per day at lyf Funan Singapore, with day use hours from 9am to 7pm.

Ascott is also targeting a space-as-a-service offering at multinational corporations, entrepreneurs and small-medium enterprises, to optimise the use of space in its properties.

Uses of its space could range from hosting cloud kitchens and Starbucks coffee kiosks, to organising live-streaming or fitness activities in its apartments, to serving as parcel collection hubs.

In Singapore, Ascott has partnered a food tech company to set up a cloud kitchen within lyf Funan Singapore’s shared kitchen.

The cloud kitchen provides in-house guests with increased dining options.

Kevin Goh, CapitaLand’s chief executive officer (CEO) for lodging and Ascott’s CEO, said: “Ascott’s strengths in the long-stay segment have bolstered our resilience against headwinds from the Covid-19 situation. Our record of securing 25 new properties in the first five months of 2020, as well as the addition of six new lyf properties in July are testament to the strong demand for our expertise and products.”

Asked about the occupancy rate of the co-living space, Ascott’s spokesperson said lyf Funan Singapore has seen an average occupancy rate of above 85 per cent from April to June this year, supported by long-stay guests.

Shares in CapitaLand closed at S$2.80 on Thursday, up S$0.02 or 0.72 per cent.

Source: https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/companies-markets/ascott-converts-some-apartments-into-work-suites

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