JR Kyushu buys Asoke complex

JR Kyushu buys Asoke complex

Japan's Kyushu Railway Co (JR Kyushu) has acquired a serviced apartment complex in Bangkok worth 2.9 billion baht and will rebrand it as Shama Lakeview Asoke under the management of Onyx Hospitality Group.

Toshihiko Aoyagi, president of JR Kyushu, said the deal marks the first time for the group to expand overseas in the hotel and serviced apartment business.

JR Kyushu said the acquired serviced apartments will serve both long and short stays, mainly for the Japanese market but also Chinese and Singaporeans.

Shama Lakeview Asoke will be managed by Onyx Hospitality Group.

"The Shama Lakeview Asoke project is a crucial step of our first business engagement in Southeast Asia," Mr Aoyagi said.

JR Kyushu expects to spend more than 100 million baht on renovation soon.

The partnership also marks the first time that Thailand-based Onyx and JR Kyushu have worked together.

The 429-key serviced apartment complex is in the heart of Bangkok's business, entertainment and residential area of Asoke. The property is to be managed by Onyx from April 1 onward.

JR Kyushu is set to continue with further growth by accelerating endeavours in the real estate businesses, including hotels and serviced apartments in Southeast Asia.

Besides its moves in Thailand, JR Kyushu is expanding beyond its home island in Japan.

Overseas, JR Kyushu already runs restaurants in Shanghai.

In 2017, JR Kyushu set up two companies in Thailand -- JR Kyushu Capital Management Thailand Co and JR Kyushu Business Development Thailand Co -- to focus on business potential in Southeast Asia.

Mori Building Real Estate Investment Advisory Co, the exclusive adviser to JR Kyushu, was behind the acquisition deal, as well as helping arrange the management deal between JR Kyushu and Onyx.

Douglas Martell, president and chief executive of Onyx, said parts of Shama Lakeview Asoke will be refurbished throughout 2018 and 2019.

The hotel offers daily room rates of 3,000-4,000 baht. "We expected to operate at an average occupancy rate of 80% per year," Mr Martell said.

Shama provides 19 serviced apartment properties in Asia-Pacific, including 11 in the development pipeline in markets such as Australia, China and Malaysia.

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