Bangkok riding on grand station plan

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Bang Sue area sees property companies amid confidence in government plan to develop a grand station for rail transport systems in Bangkok. The nation (thailand)

THE NATION (THAILAND)/ANN: THE surrounding areas of Bang Sue-Bang Pho interchange have become the latest destination of property companies amid high confidence in the government’s plan to develop Bang Sue as a grand station for rail transport systems in Bangkok.

According to a survey by The Nation, 11 developers are launching 17 projects worth a total of 47.18 billion baht ($1.43 billion) between 2015 and the final quarter of this year. Of the 13,819 units, many have been sold and transferred to buyers while others will be handed over between next year and 2020. Some developers have reported sales of over 70 per cent of their respective project’s value.

‘Strong demand’

Pruksa Real Estate Plc CEO Prasert Taedullayasatit said the company had launched condominium projects in the areas of Bang SueBang Pho interchange in view of the government’s policy for Bang Sue.

“We expect strong demand from home-buyers for residential units in Bang Sue, Bang Pho and Tao Poon due to their proximity to the mass transit routes and workplaces,” he said, adding that all units in the company’s condominiums have been sold.

Chewathai Plc also launched condominiums in the areas, foreseeing an inflow of commercial activities and new residents to the locations, said managing director Boon Choon Kiet.

“We have got over our initial concerns on the projects’ locations. Bang Sue and Bang Pho were the right choices,” Boon said.

Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) had earlier submitted a plan to develop a multi-complex on a 372ha plot in Bang Sue, comprising commercial and residential buildings, a sports arena and an international exhibition centre.

“We expected the grand-station plan in Bang Sue to cost more than 150 billion baht. It will create a new central business district (CBD) in Bangkok,” he said, adding that infrastructure development for the transport hub at Bang Sue calls for an additional investment of 47 billion baht.

According to the master plan, the first phase entails development of the grand station as well as commercial and office buildings linked to the transport hub from last year to 2024.

The second phase involves development of a complex for Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions, Exhibitions (MICE) events, a sports arena as well as retail, office and residential properties around the station from 2024 to 2029. In the third phase, more housing projects will start from 2029 to 2031. The master plan was drafted by the Transport Ministry and its Japanese adviser.

The Grand Station plan will create a new CBD in Bangkok, in addition to Sukhumvit and Silom. It will be a key hub for Bangkok’s mass transit systems, connecting all existing rail networks such as BTS Skytrain, the MRT, the Airport Rail Link as well as 10 planned rail systems and three high speed routes – Bangkok Nong Kai, Bangkok Chiang Mai, and the high-speed rail service linking Suvanabhumi, Don Muang, and U-tapao international airports.

Seven zones

The project is divided into seven zones, covering a total of 372ha in and around Bang Sue district. Zone A is planned for the development of a 5.12ha smart business complex, which will open for private bidding this year. Zone B will be the Asean Commercial Business Hub with retail and office space. Zone C will house the MICE Super Arena, a exhibition hall and a sport complex. Zone D covers the 13.28ha Chatuchak Park and Chatuchak Weekend Market. Zone E is earmarked for public and state agency offices. Zone F will be the site of a shopping mall while Zone G will be a residential area covering 57.6ha.

The Transport Minister is negotiating with PTT Plc on the supply of green energy for the mega-project. A telecommunication system will also be developed under the smart city concept.

He said the government will invest in infrastructure while private-sector bids will be called for the development of commercial areas under the public-private partnerships (PPP) scheme, starting with the Smart Business Complex in Zone A.

We will set the terms of reference for bids to be called before the year-end, he added.

According to a survey by property agency Knight Frank (Thailand), a total of 32,000 condominium units worth 100 billion baht were put on sale in the first quarter with up to 95 per cent sold.

Knight Frank (Thailand) managing director Phanom Kanjanathiemthao said condominium prices in Bang Sue increased by 18.42 per cent from an average of 95,000 baht per square metre last year to 112,500 baht in the first quarter of this year. At the same time, land prices in the areas jumped 80 per cent from an average of 62,500 baht per square metre five years ago to 112,500 as of the end of last year.

“We believe that if the Bang Sue Grand Station project proceeds in line with the master plan, it will drive the demand for residential properties in the location,” Phanom said. “However, the government also needs to develop a road system to link with the rail routes for Bang Sue to become a new CBD in Bangkok,” he added.