SINGAPORE (Jan 19): City Developments Ltd (CDL) has signed an agreement to invest RMB72 million (S$14.8 million or RM46.16 million) for a 24% stake in Distrii, a leading operator of co-working spaces in China.

Founded last January, Distrii already has capacity for more than 2,200 members across nine locations in Shanghai, with 80% of this capacity being taken up already.

Distrii will be opening a new facility in Beijing in the first half of 2017 and plans to further expand in this city as well as in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and other global gateway cities.

In Singapore, Distrii will lease more than 60,000 sf of space at CDL-owned Republic Plaza Tower 1, a prime Grade A office building connected to the Raffles Place MRT Station in the Central Business District.

Designed to be one of the largest co-working facilities in Singapore, it will integrate food and beverage, entertainment, recreational and office facilities. Distrii’s co-working facility at Republic Plaza is expected to open in 1H 2018, as the space is still currently leased out.

Sherman Kwek, CDL Deputy CEO, said, “In line with CDL’s strategic diversification, we have been actively looking for innovative offerings and new growth platforms that are complementary to our core businesses of real estate and hospitality. With the burgeoning sharing economy, an increasingly mobile workforce and a greater requirement for flexibility, we see strong potential in co-working spaces and the demand for them has been rapidly growing.”

Earlier, in September 2016, CDL’s wholly-owned subsidiary CDL China Limited announced it would invest RMB 100 million for a 20% stake in mamahome, a fast-growing Chinese online apartment rental platform.

Shares of CityDev closed 5 Singaporean cent higher at S$8.84. —

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