AUSTRALIA’S largest co-living company Hmlet has launched in Tokyo with joint-venture partner Mitsubishi Estate Co, Ltd., with a combined investment of US$25 million to go into funding the latest expansion over the next three years.
Hmlet expects Japan to be one of Hmlet’s largest markets in the region, where more than 1,000 rooms will be signed in the next six months, and with subsequent plans for expansion to Osaka and Nagoya are also in the pipeline for as many as 10,000 rooms.
The first Japan property, Hmlet Shibuya Shoto, will launch in Shibuya mid-October. The purpose-built co-living building features a range of studio and duplex configurations, as well as a communal rooftop.
This marks the company’s fourth country of operations. Existing markets include Singapore, Hong Kong and Sydney.
The deal follows Hmlet having just entered into an agreement with Sydney-based developer Revelop to open four new properties in the Sydney suburbs of Mays Hill, Harris Park, Balgowlah and Petersham. Its portfolio has more than 200 rooms across five Sydney sites.
MEC, one of the largest real-estate developers in Japan, is also an investor in Hmlet’s latest Series B funding round alongside Burda Principal Investments, Sequoia India and Westpac-backed Reinventure Group.
As part of the partnership, MEC will manage the sourcing of properties and Hmlet will oversee all aspects of design and community management. Mitsubishi Estate Residence, fully owned by MEC, will serve as Hmlet’s preferred real estate partner in Japan, which would grant Hmlet access to MEC’s large pipeline of existing and in-development phase residential building.
“We have expanded to Japan due to Hmlet’s potential to bridge the gap for flexible, affordable and secure accommodation amidst rising rental costs,” Yoan Kamalski, chief executive officer of Hmlet said.
“The traditional model of stacking agency fees, advance rental payments and language barriers have been stressful complexities that have not yet evolved to meet the needs of modern residents.”
Kyota Kobayashi, general manager of business creation dept, Mitsubishi Estate Co, Ltd. said, “We believe that Hmlet’s unique co-living concept is both timely and relevant to the needs of Japanese young professionals.”
Kenichi Sasaki, chief executive officer of Hmlet Japan said that while co-living spaces are a relatively new concept in Japan, “we believe our model will meet today’s demands around accommodations, including an increasingly mobile workforce and professionals that travel domestically for work”.
“In Japan, we will incorporate Japanese aesthetics into our co-living spaces, as well as activities that will allow our members the opportunity to engage with the local community, giving them a space, they can call home.”