Co-working spaces in the lobby at lyf Collingwood

The Ascott Limited is set to expand co-living hotel brand lyf to Sydney’s Bondi Junction with a property to open in 2024.

Based in Sydney’s fifth largest business district, in the affluent eastern suburbs, the 197-unit hotel will cater to transient professionals and leisure travellers.

The Ascott Limited describes lyf as a solution that combines the best of serviced residences, hotels and co-living apartments, and has high hopes for its growth potential in Australia, particularly with millennial travellers.

“Given Ascott’s suite of brands, we have significant growth plans currently underway in Australia with opportunities in regional, suburban and CBD locations,” said Ascott Australia Managing Director, David Mansfield.

“Millennials are changing the hotel game – they want to connect with like-minded people, feel part of a community and be able to authentically experience the area they’re visiting. The lyf brand is in a class of its own, it has been thoughtfully designed to fit the needs of this generation by facilitating connection and collaboration with likeminded people.”

The Bondi Junction acquisition comes as the company officially opened its first lyf property in Australia, lyf Collingwood, last month.

Located a 10-minute tram ride from the CBD, the 105-key hotel offers communal spaces for guest interaction including a communal kitchen, a social lounge, and a farm wall where guests can grow their own microgreens. The property features custom murals by contemporary artist Mysterious Al.  

CapitaLand Investment Limited (CLI), The Ascott Limited’s parent company, is confident that lyf will hold a strong position in Australia’s growing co-living market.

“With the short supply of professionally-managed co-living properties in Australia, Ascott is set to raise the bar for the co-living sector as we expand the lyf brand in the country,” said CLI Chief Executive Officer for Lodging, Kevin Goh.

“We continue to see attractive opportunities to grow our lyf brand through our private funds and Ascott Residence Trust as well as via management contracts.”

The freehold asset in Bondi Junction was acquired via the Ascott Serviced Residence Global Fund (ASRGF) – Ascott’s private equity fund with Qatar Investment Authority. It is ASRGF’s third investment this year and follows the acquisition of Somerset Hangzhou Bay Ningbo and Citadines Canal Amsterdam in March. To date, ASRGF has invested in 12 properties for close to US$500 million.

“Tapping our strong deal sourcing capabilities and extensive business network, we were able to access this attractive off-market acquisition,” said Ascott’s Managing Director for Lodging Private Equity Funds and Head of Business Development, Mak Hoe Kit.

“lyf Bondi Junction Sydney is a rare purpose-built asset in a highly sought-after location for business and tourism. We expect the coliving property to perform well as Sydney boasts a vibrant start-up ecosystem and is amongst the top gateway cities globally.”

Internationally, Ascott has four other lyf hotels in the works, in gateway cities such as Bangkok, Cebu, and Kuala Lumpur, while five other lyf properties are scheduled to open in Beijing, Danang, Ho Chi Minh City, Manila and Paris by 2025.