Singapore-based serviced residence provider The Ascott has obtained contracts to manage three more properties in China, amounting to some 500 additional apartment units. Lee Chee Koon, Ascott’s deputy chief executive and managing director for North Asia points to strong foreign direct investment and booms in tourism and domestic travel as drivers for growth in the country’s serviced residence sector.
The Ascott Heng Shan, to open in 2014 in Shanghai, will add 90 units to the prime Xuhui District, close to foreign consulates and major commercial areas along Nanjing Road and Huaihai Road.
The two other properties, to open in 2015 and 2017, are 250-unit Ascott Emerald City (pictured) and 194-unit Somerset Baitang, both located in Suzhou. The city has long been famed for classical gardens, historical pagodas and serene waterways, but most recently, it is also known as a growing industrial hub with fast-growing IT and research and development industries.
The Emerald City property, under the top-tier Ascott brand, is part of a mega commercial project in the booming Suzhou New District, near the Financial Banking Street. Somerset Baitang, a more family-oriented property, is located in the Suzhou Industrial Park and adjacent to the Jinji Lake East Central Business District, where many government offices and banks’ branch offices are located. It is also near Baitang Botanical Garden, Times Square shopping complex, Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Department Store and Eslite Bookstore.
Both properties are reachable by Metro Line 1.
Although it does not have its own airport, Suzhou is well linked to both Pudong and Hongqiao airports in Shanghai by train services, including high-speed one. The shortest train journey between the two cities lasts only 23 minutes.
For more about Suzhou, look out for the “Inside China” feature in the January/Februrary issue of Business Traveller Asia-Pacific.
Ascott manages over 8,000 apartment units in 46 properties across 17 cities in China.