KUALA LUMPUR, 22 August: The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, which is opening its first Ritz-Carlton Residences in Malaysia, is confident of achieving a good response from the affluent market despite the soft property market and weak consumer sentiment.
Vice-president of global residential operations John Hearns said he is not concerned about market conditions as the project is targeted at the affluent market who are looking for an exclusive address as there are only 288 units available.
“We view the branded residential business as an exclusive address. So, I don’t believe there’s significant competition for our project. All we’re looking for is 288 people who want to call the Ritz-Carlton Residences Kuala Lumpur their home.
“I believe that if the market is not robust, I’m not concerned about that because I’m very confident that there are 288 members of the global affluent tribe that want to call the Ritz-Carlton Residences Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia their home,” he told reporters at a briefing yesterday.
He said the global affluent tribe are customers who are collectors of experiences and collectors of homes, who identify with trusted brands and are purchasing a lifestyle when they buy a branded luxury residence.
Hearns added that branded luxury residences globally have a 30% premium over non-branded luxury residences.
The Ritz-Carlton Residences Kuala Lumpur is developed by Berjaya Land Bhd (BLand) and will be managed by The Ritz-Carlton under The Ritz-Carlton Premium Management. The official opening is slated for the first quarter of 2017.
It occupies one of two towers at Berjaya Central Park at the corner of Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Ampang. Bangkok Bank, the anchor tenant of the project, occupies most of the other tower.
Hearns said it is open to further collaboration with BLand if there is a suitable location that makes sense for both parties to work together.
There are 95 Ritz-Carlton Hotels and 45 Ritz-Carlton Residences worldwide today. Of the 45 residences, six are standalone and 39 are co-located, which means they are located beside or above a Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
The group plans to expand to 12 standalone residences by 2020. The Ritz-Carlton is the only luxury brand that offers standalone residences and the Kuala Lumpur residences is one of them.
Hearns said there is great opportunity in Asia for branded luxury residences not just in big cities but also in secondary cities and resort locations.
“I can imagine a time 10 years from now, there may be a Ritz-Carlton Residences in a secondary city here in Malaysia. I can also foresee us having Ritz-Carlton Residences in resort areas like Langkawi. I would say about a third of our portfolio are in resort locations,” he said.
— THE SUN