Weave Suites — Midtown debuts in Singapore’s Kampong Glam

/ EdgeProp Singapore |
The lobby of the new Weave Suites — Midtown. (Picture: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Hong Kong-based accommodation provider Weave Living officially opened Weave Suites — Midtown, a 65-room serviced apartment property at 33 Jalan Sultan, on March 8. This is Weave’s first overseas foray outside of Hong Kong. Singapore will be its launchpad to extend its footprint around the Asia Pacific region.
The property is a refurbishment of the former Hotel Clover across 17 two-storey, conserved shophouses along Jalan Sultan. Weave Living and Singapore-listed property developer SLB Development acquired the former hotel for $74.8 million in March 2022, in an 80:20 joint venture.
According to founder and group CEO Sachin Doshi, Weave Living holds a significant majority stake in the property. Weave Living was also responsible for repositioning and converting the former hotel into serviced apartments. It will also be the operator and manager of the asset, adds Doshi.
Doshi: Weave Living is positioned at the premium end of the accommodation market. (Picture: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
Weave Suites — Midtown features a nuanced colour palate and material selection that echoes the design choices found in most of Weave Living’s Hong Kong properties, such as warm earthy colour tones, dark woods, monochromatic tiled floors and sleek marble counters. It also features resident amenities such as shared social spaces, a gym, a fully equipped communal kitchen, meeting rooms and workspaces.
“We care about the design of our properties and prioritise creating spaces that people will be proud to live in,” says Doshi. “But we are also cognisant of the fact that our design has to connect with the neighbourhood — in this case, true to the spirit of the Kampong Glam area.”
He points to the two-storey outdoor mural, by local artist Ben Qwek of LabFiveSix, depicting a traditional sarong kebaya-clad lady looking towards Sultan Mosque from a Peranakan backyard. It captures the heritage and vibrancy of the neighbourhood, says Doshi.

Launching into Singapore

Weave Living was founded in 2017 to create “hassle-free city-living experiences”, says Doshi. “We want to be in central locations where people want to live and work, surrounded by good social infrastructure and amenities,” he says.
The resident-only ground-floor lounge and social space. (Picture: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
Singapore is a natural choice for Weave Living’s Asia Pacific expansion plans. “We want to have a presence in the gateway cities where global talent congregates. And in terms of the Southeast Asia region, Singapore is a natural step for us after having made our mark in Hong Kong,” says Doshi.
He says that each locale drives the character of the Weave Living property, as seen in the case of Weave Suites — Midtown in Kampong Glam. The properties are typically in prime districts and neighbourhoods. For example, in Hong Kong, Weave Living’s properties are in sought-after residential areas in Kai Tak, Hung Hom, Prince Edward and Mid-Levels.
Weave Living has nine properties in Hong Kong, with nearly 1,500 units across its three accommodation brands — Weave Studios, which focuses on affordable single-occupancy apartments; Weave Residences, which caters to the traditional rental market; and Weave Suites, for its serviced apartment lodgings.
“From a product-positioning perspective, I believe we are, and will continue to be, positioned at the premium end of the accommodation market,” says Doshi.
One of the 290 sq ft Garden Suites with outdoor terrace. (Picture: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
He adds that it is an opportune time to launch in Singapore, given the surge in residential rents the city-state has seen in recent months.
Doshi chose Weave Suites as the brand to enter Singapore as he feels the premium serviced residences segment is “under-served”. He adds: “A serviced apartment offering was the natural way to penetrate the market because that is the DNA of Weave Living, and it is what we excel at.”
The company also believes that the mix of single- and dual-occupancy suites and loft units at Weave Suites — Midtown will resonate with expatriates and locals looking to rent long-term.
The Covid pandemic changed how people regard their homes and workplaces, says Doshi. He adds that people are much more mindful of their daily commute and have an entrenched preference towards flexible work arrangements. “Leasing a beautiful space to work, live and play is more attractive,” he says.

Six unit types available

Weave Suites — Midtown offers six different unit types and configurations. Its sole single-occupant unit is the 120 sq ft Urban Suite with a 65 sq ft private outdoor terrace. The double-occupant unit types include the 160 sq ft Skylight Suite and the 180 sq ft Premium Suite, with basic amenities.
A 385 sq ft Loft Suite with kitchenette and loft bed. (Picture: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
The larger units come with a larger personal living space designed to be more self-sufficient than the smaller ones. For example, the 275 sq ft One-Bedroom Suite has a living area with a sofa, a kitchenette, a fridge, a washer/dryer, a dining table and chairs, and a 65 sq ft private outdoor terrace.
The 290 sq ft Garden Suite has the same living-area amenities. It comes without a dining table and chairs, but makes up for it with a 90 sq ft private outdoor terrace.
The only loft-style unit is the 385 sq ft Loft Suite. It has a more compact layout with a fridge, kitchenette, in-room washer/dryer, dining table and chairs on the lower floor.
According to Doshi, the Skylight and Premium Suites require only a minimum six-night stay, while the other suites require a minimum one-month stay. Rental prices are $180 per night or $2,520 per month.
“So far, this property has received a great response from locals, contrary to the conventional perception that Singaporeans tend to shun renting,” adds Doshi. “This could signal the beginning of a shift in accommodation attitudes among the locals here. As a brand, we always aim to be ahead of the market movements.”
The kitchen and living area of a One-Bedroom Suite. An outdoor terrace connects to the separate bedroom. (Picture: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
The profile of tenants who have signed up for a unit at Weave Suites — Midtown is 50:50 between locals and expatriates. About 50% of the units were pre-leased by the end of February, and Doshi expects the property to be 100% leased by the end of this month. “We wanted to pace out the take-up of units in the property as this is our first in Singapore,” he adds.

Asset-focused growth

Doshi acknowledges that the flexible living segment in Singapore is highly competitive, with several hospitality-backed brands already entrenched.
Some prominent hospitality players in the industry include CapitaLand Investment’s The Ascott, Far East Hospitality, UOL Group’s Pan Pacific Hotels & Resorts, and Frasers Property’s Frasers Hospitality.
Start-up co-living operators that have established a presence in Singapore include Cove, Hmlet and The Assembly Place.
“I believe that the quality of the product and service offering, as well as the consistency of the service offering, will determine which brands consumers will back,” says Doshi. “We also bank on our existing customer base in Hong Kong who are aware of our brand and want to be associated with us as we enter new markets.”
While the company plans to expand its regional footprint, it intends to focus on acquiring quality assets rather than achieving scale, says Doshi. “I’d rather be in five super-prime locations than be in 20 locations for the sake of being more widespread.”
The mural painted by local artist Ben Qwek of LabFiveSix, depicting a traditional sarong kebaya-clad lady. (Picture: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
Thus, the company says it will not chase a target number of properties in Singapore as it grows. Moreover, Weave Living will continue to focus on asset growth. “We are not an asset-light company, and fundamentally we are looking out for opportunities to own the right real estate that suits us,” says Doshi.
“Owning real estate is always our first goal because I believe we add value to the real estate through our product design, placemaking, and ongoing services and operations,” he adds.
But Doshi is of the view that the hospitality segment in Singapore is “too exuberant”. “Some degree of rationality will not hurt the market,” he notes.
Likewise, the recent surge in private residential rents has eroded Singapore’s competitive advantage over Hong Kong. “Right now, the rental market in Singapore is not healthy,” Doshi observes. “Any situation where the landlord or tenant has too much of an upper hand is unhealthy for the market.”

Targeted acquisition opportunities

Weave Living will focus on stabilising its sole asset in Singapore, but Doshi says that the company’s acquisitions team is always looking out for opportunities.
The recent buzz caused by rejuvenation and redevelopment efforts in the Bugis-Beach Road area has piqued his interest. However, he wants to explore other sought-after residential areas such as Chinatown, Farrer Park and River Valley.
One of the lounge spaces at Weave Suites - Midtown. (Picture: Weave Living)
“We want to be where people want to live; it’s straightforward,” says Doshi. “And people who want to live in the city centre want convenience and a short commute. So, we will focus on these prime locations.”
The firm wants to bring its Weave Studios brand to Singapore next. “We are actively looking at opportunities right now and trying to locate properties suitable for the Weave Studios brand,” says Doshi.
In line with this, Doshi says the company would like to secure a more robust market presence in the city with a portfolio of more than 500 units within the next few years.
Other gateway cities in the Asia Pacific region that Weave Living wants to enter include Tokyo and Osaka in Japan, Seoul in South Korea, as well as Sydney and Melbourne in Australia. “We want to focus our efforts on the big international centres,” says Doshi.
Weave Living will open four new properties — three of them in Hong Kong — and enter a new overseas market over the next four months.
Check out the latest listings near Kampong Glam

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