Co-living brand lyf appeals to young corporates and creatives

The Ascott Limited is set to open two new properties in Sydney’s CBD and Melbourne’s outer north suburb of Epping under the lyf and Oakwood brands respectively.

The business shared the announcement exclusively to HM ahead of the 14th Asia Pacific Hotel Industry Conference and Exhibition (AHICE), which takes place at the Adelaide Oval on May 3-4.

“As the Australian arm of Ascott, lyf Sussex Sydney and Oakwood Epping are part of our proven global strategy that is focused on delivering hospitality solutions that elevate the guest experience,” said Ascott Australia Managing Director, David Mansfield.

“Every decision is grounded in meeting current market trends and future needs of our modern-day travellers.”

The 160-key lyf property, on Sussex Street in Sydney, is the third Australian property for the co-living brand and follows the opening of lyf Collingwood in May 2022, with a Bondi Junction property, currently under construction, due to open next year. Ascott is aiming for a mid-2025 opening.

Serviced apartment brand Oakwood will launch its third Australian property in Epping with a 94-key mixed-use development at the corner of Fullarton Drive and Cooper St. The hotel, which Ascott is aiming to open in early 2026, will offer a mix of studios, one- and two- bedroom apartments, and twin key two- and three- bedroom apartments, a gym, conference facilities, cafe, and office space. Ascott is.

“As a co-living brand, lyf presents a practical solution that merges the rising popularity of the sharing economy in Australia with an innovative approach that blends coworking and co-living with a focus on authentically connecting guests with their local community,” Mansfield said.

“With Oakwood, we offer a seamless extended-stay experience right in the heart of emerging business hubs where guests have everything they need to feel productive and right at home in their spacious and modern serviced apartment.”

Ascott acquired the Oakwood portfolio last year

Lyf is an accommodation concept targeting next-generation travellers including non-traditional corporates such as digital nomads, start-ups, entrepreneurs and creatives. The Collingwood property has seen occupancy double to 72% and RevPAR grow by $50 in Q1 FY23, when compared to the opening three months May-July FY22.

Lyf Sussex Sydney will offer studio units, 300+ sqm of communal space and an alfresco terrace. It is expected to capture demand from the emerging AU$3 billion “Silicon Valley” tech hub, a government-backed precinct adjacent to Central Station.

“Given Sydney’s CBD represents the epicentre of tourism and business within Australia, and noting the breadth of ancillary services (retail, hospitality, etc.), lyf Sussex Sydney” is a logical locational progression for Ascott to build brand equity in the Australian market,” said Ascott Australia GM Growth and Capital Strategy, James Shields.

“The City of Sydney is a new hospitality market for lyf where we have a first in market advantage in an area with high population growth forecasts for urban professionals. lyf Sussex Sydney is an opportunity to capture the existing coworking market by going a step further and filling the gap for local coliving accommodation, and to establish the lyf brand within the CBD adjacent to many corporate headquarters to capture extended stay corporate market share

The latest Oakwood property will benefit from a major regeneration of the Epping area which includes the AU$2 billion mixed-use project known as “New Epping,” which will bring new offices, retail spaces, and over 2,000 dwellings.