Hmlet anchors Asian presence, opens largest co-living space in Singapore

/ EdgeProp Singapore
August 29, 2019 2:21 PM SGT
Hmlet’s ethos is built around offering seamless housing options to members on the foundation of a tight-knit community, so communal spaces are vital (Credit: Hmlet)
Since its launch in 2016, Hmlet has sprouted co-living spaces across Asia - operating in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Australia. Back in its home ground, it is gearing up for its latest instalment in Singapore, Hmlet Cantonment, which is its largest facility to date.
Built on a heritage site from the 1950s, Hmlet at Cantonment is nestled in Tanjong Pagar in the CBD, at 150 Cantonment Road. Formerly the site of Keppel Primary School, it was converted to the headquarters of the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau before Hmlet gave the site a new lease of life. The co-living building spans 76,000 sq ft, offering 150 individual rooms up for stay across two three-storey blocks.
Developed jointly with LHN Facilities Management - an indirect subsidiary of LHN Limited, a Singapore-based real estate management services group - the site is Hmlet’s first foray into revamping commercial buildings. “We’ve actually always been renovating and changing residential buildings,” notes Yoan Kamalski, CEO and co-founder of Hmlet. “When LHN first met us, they were wondering if we could do something together - could we actually build a coliving space in a [commercial] building,” shares Kamalski.
Hmlet Cantonment features a wellness studio (Credit: Hmlet)
The property is located in a zone that the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) allows for short-term stays of six nights and above. Hmlet jumped at this chance. “We’ve realised that there was an opportunity to bring coliving to an even bigger demographic and crowd,” he says, and plans to target expatriates who are working on short-term projects in the country, seeking accommodation. Prior to this, all co-living spaces at Hmlet required a stay for at least three months — in line with URA’s regulations for short-term rentals.
Depending on room type, weekly stays range between S$1,105 to S$2,240, or S$145 to S$320 per night. Apart from shared apartments, there will also be the option for studio units. Members who book a three-month stay and above will enjoy preferential rates from S$3,240 a month.
As a nod to the building’s heritage past, Hmlet has preserved some retro elements - the original staircase with terrazzo handrails and feature walls are key to the design. Community spaces at Hmlet Cantonment are built around the staircases. “People can come out of the room and still meet one another,” Kamalski says.
Read more:
The kitchenette at Hmlet Cantonment (Credit: Hmlet)
Hmlet’s ethos is centred around offering seamless housing options to members on the foundation of a tight-knit community, so communal spaces are vital. To that end, the facility features a wellness studio, outdoor plunge pool and relaxation area, and a round-the-clock, in-house cafe to encourage interaction among residents. Besides partner pop-up events, Hmlet also hosts community activities for its members that include games nights, movie screenings, in-house yoga and meditation classes.
Depending on room type, weekly stays at Hmlet Cantonment range from $1,105 to $2,240, or $145 to $320 per night (Credit: Hmlet)
In July, Hmlet raised US$40 million ($55.6 million) in a Series B round led by Burda Principal Investments, with participation from existing investor Sequoia India and new investors Mitsubishi Estate Co and Reinventure Group. Currently, it operates at more than 75 locations across Singapore, Hong Kong and Sydney, and plans to expand to Melbourne, Brisbane and Tokyo. The firm aims to cater more than 2,400 beds by the end of this year.
Read also: