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Oakwood eyes Asian gateways with new Studios brand

Dean Schreiber, managing director of Oakwood Asia Pacific Ltd
Dean Schreiber, managing director of Oakwood Asia Pacific Ltd

Oakwood will target key global gateway cities, including many in Asia Pacific, following the introduction of its new Oakwood Studios concept.

The serviced apartment operator last week unveiled plans to open its first ever Oakwood Studios property in Singapore. Speaking to Travel Daily on Tuesday, Dean Schreiber, managing director of Oakwood Asia Pacific Ltd, said he is already planning the future expansion of the brand, which will focus on “key international tier one cities”.

“We are working on a Tokyo option and we have interests in Bangkok. There are several LOIs (letters of intent) out there.” said Schreiber. “Singapore will be the first, but we have very aggressive expansion plans.”

In terms of location, Schreiber added that Oakwood would be “very strict” when selecting new properties. “Studios will only exist in key major cities, and prime locations within these cities,” he said.

This is demonstrated by the fact that the Oakwood Studios Singapore will be located in the main Orchard area of the city.

Oakwood Studios will be positioned in the high-end serviced apartment segment, but will offer a more “boutique experience” than Oakwood’s other brands, according to Schreiber.

Primarily geared towards solo business executives, or “global nomads” as Oakwood calls them, properties will be designed in a contemporary style, and all units will have large work spaces and technological connectivity.

While they won’t have the full range of facilities that large hotels or serviced apartments may offer, Schreiber said Oakwood Studios would feature “relevant spaces” including fitness centres and convenient F&B outlets, like cafes and bars.

The launch of Oakwood Studios forms part of a broader global expansion plan for the company’s portfolio of products – Oakwood Premier, Oakwood Residence, Oakwood Apartments – which  will see it expand to 105 properties by 2021, up from 30 today. Since Singapore-based Mapletree signed a deal to acquire 49% of Oakwood in 2014, the company has already acquired new serviced residences in Brisbane, Tokyo and Ho Chi Minh City, plus five properties in the US.

The Brisbane property will mark Oakwood’s debut in Australia, and Schreiber said he hopes to launch in “all major cities” in Australia.

Elsewhere in Asia, the company will continue to expand in China, India and Thailand, where Schreiber said there are “huge opportunities”, as well as in other Asia Pacific destinations, Europe, the US and Middle East.