Ascott shores up presence in Japan, opens first Citadines serviced residence in Osaka

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/ EdgeProp Singapore
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January 31, 2020 1:30 PM SGT
Ascott opened its first Citadines serviced residence in Osaka. The Citadines Namba Osaka will be managed through a partnership with Takashimaya (Credit: Ascott)
The Ascott, the wholly-owned lodging business unit of property giant CapitaLand, has strengthened its toehold in Japan by opening its first Citadines serviced residence in Osaka.
Located near Namba Station, Citadines Namba Osaka is set within the city’s popular entertainment and shopping district, and is surrounded by commercial buildings. The property offers 313 units with a selection of different apartment types for guests with different lengths of stay. While the studio apartment is designed for short-stay travellers, the studio executive apartment – which has a kitchen – is more suitable for guests on extended stay.
Conversely, the one- and two-bedroom apartments have separate living rooms and are ideal for long-stay guests and those who are travelling with their families, says Ascott.
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Citadines Namba Osaka used to be a departmental store (Credit: Ascott)
Common facilities include restaurants and meeting rooms as well as a gymnasium, a launderette, a children’s playroom and a residents’ lounge which comes with a kitchen.
The property which now houses Citadines Namba Osaka has its roots as a departmental store. It is therefore fitting that Ascott is operating the property through a master lease agreement with Toshin Development Company, a subsidiary of Takashimaya Group, the established departmental store brand in Asia.
A one-bedroom twin unit at Citadines Namba Osaka (Credit: Ascott)

Departmental store of days past

As tribute to its glorious past, different parts of the property feature different fashion and shopping themes which is achieved through the display of relevant furniture pieces, signages and artworks.
Citadines Namba Osaka oozes old-world charm by featuring a modern art deco design. The original design used in the building years ago has also been preserved. For instance, the marbled column lobby is retained and accentuated by intricate details such as acanthus motifs, ornate carvings, decorative travel trunks and elevators with dial indicators.
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The two-bedroom apartment comes with a separate living room (Credit: Ascott)
Cosmetics, fashion accessories, handbags and shoes are also displayed prominently at the reception area, through a collaboration with Takashimaya Osaka departmental store.
Elsewhere, the property takes on a quaint and playful vibe. For instance, the children’s playroom adopts a carousel theme while the restaurant has an industrial look, thanks to the display of a vintage car in its midst.
The restaurant at Citadines Namba Osaka gets the industrial look and features a vintage car as a focal point (Credit: Ascott)

Pipeline of properties in Japan

Ascott is ramping up its pipeline in Japan. Next year, it will open its co-living brand in Fukuoka, called lyf Tenjin Fukuoka. Two years later, it plans to open its first property in Yokohama, under the Citadines brand.
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Tan Lai Seng, Ascott’s regional manager for Japan & Korea, adds that his business unit wants to grow organically through management contracts, leases, investments and strategic alliances with market leaders in gateway cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka and Yokohama.
Tan also expects the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, and Osaka-Kansai World Expo to boost demand for Ascott’s lodging properties.
The children’s playroom at the serviced residence features a carousel as well as a ball pit (Credit: Ascott)
“With Japan’s thriving economy and inbound travel market, we see great opportunities to expand in the country where we have a strong portfolio of over 5,000 units across more than 30 serviced residences, hotels and rental housing properties in nine cities,” says Tan in the press release announcing the opening of Citadines Namba Osaka.
Including Citadines Namba Osaka, Ascott now operates eight serviced residences in Japan. The other seven are: Ascott Marunouchi Tokyo, Somerset Azabu East Tokyo, Somerset Ginza East Tokyo, Somerset Shinagawa Tokyo, Citadines Central Shinjuku Tokyo, Citadines Karasuma-Gojo Kyoto and Citadines Shinjuku Tokyo.
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