So Sofitel Singapore owner eyes legacy, not money

SOFITEL Luxury Hotels ends its nine-year search for a hotel in Singapore with a deal worthy of popping a Cristal back at the corporate office.

At one fell swoop, the management agreement signed yesterday with Royal Group Holdings (RGH), as tipped by TTG Asia e-Daily on October 20, enables Sofitel to flag its new brand, So, on an iconic building circa 1927, in a location at the heart of the CBD, with a partner who told TTG Asia he was in it not for the money but the “legacy”.

Asok Kumar Hiranandani, RGH president, said: “For me, this is not commercial. If I can leave a legacy, it’ll be nice. The building is something you want to keep, like a piece of painting you want to hang on the wall.”

A hotel developer told TTG Asia if it was for legacy, Hiranandani was in it for the right reason. “It’s difficult to make money when you can carve out only that many rooms in a heritage building – because of the floor plate and plan – and adhere to conservation guidelines at the same time,” she said.

So Sofitel Singapore will have 135 rooms and suites, with floor areas between 24sqm and 140sqm, when it opens in early 2013. RGH is pumping in S$130 (US$103) million to S$150 million in the 60-year leasehold property which was up for tender in January.

– Full report, TTG Asia, October 28, 2011

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