In Ho Chi Minh City, a smaller project trend

February 04, 2013 | 17:02
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Developers of serviced apartment projects in Ho Chi Minh City are thinking small - or at least smaller - in contrast to the bigger-is-better trend of that past.

The newest serviced apartment project in the market is an Ascott’s development in District 2. With 100 units,  the Somerset Vista Ho Chi Minh City is significantly smaller than its Ascott counterparts in District 1 - Somerset Chancellor Court with 172 units, and  Somerset Ho Chi Minh City, with 154 units.  

Other new serviced apartment projects launched in the city before the end of 2012 were An Phu with 54 units, Q Residence with 60 and Xi Riverview Palace with only   14 units.

According to the latest report of Savills Vietnam, 17 out of 22 projects poured in to the market from the first quarter of 2011 had less than 50 units, including Waterfront, Palms Garden, Mai Har Lan, Ha Do Villas, Dien Bien Phu Apartment, Thanh Long Building. Most are boutique serviced apartments, developed and managed by local groups.

All contrast with the scale of serviced apartments Riverside, Saigon Sky Garden and Norfolk Mansion launched in the mid-to-late 1990s, in which total units ranged from  120 - 200 units.

Truong An Duong , head of Savills Ho Chi Minh City  research department,  said many of the small-scale serviced apartments were grade C and located in the central business districts, which lack large empty parcels needed to build large-scale projects, and some of the small-scale serviced apartment projects were shifting from unsold non-serviced units and unmarketable office-for-lease buildings.

Small-scale developments would not be a trend in Ho Chi Minh City market, Duong said, as there were still developers looking for prime locations in Districts 1,2 and 7 to develop large-scale serviced apartment projects.

Several  projects under construction were mentioned by Duong, including  Keppel Land’s  200-unit Saigon Centre Phase 2, Bitexco’s The One Ho Chi Minh City in District 1, and South Place Complex, developed by the alliance formed by Mapletree and SCID in District 7.

Ascott’s country general manager Graham Black  said his firm was confident in the long-term outlook of Vietnam’s economy. “Its large young workforce and pro-business environment will continue to attract multinational companies to set up operations. This will in turn bring expatriates and business travelers into the country, generating strong demand for serviced residences in Vietnam,” said Black.

Black also said that if there were suitable opportunities and locations, the firm would introduce Ascott-branded as well as Citadines-branded serviced residences into the nation. The brand caters to individual travellers who want quality accommodation and the flexibility to pay for the services they require. The firm, he said, was  never satisfied with a small-scale property.

By Thanh Thuy

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