Largest-ever Thai real estate investment for Bangkok
Bangkok’s skyline continues to transform as the tycoon behind Chang Beer announced last week he will invest $3.4 billion in One Bangkok, a towering mixed-used development in the heart of the capital, and the largest real estate investment ever made in the Kingdom.
The One Bangkok complex will contain several skyscrapers that are slated to house hotels, condominiums, offices, a shopping mall and green space and will be located in one of the choicest intersections in the city on land leased from the Crown Property Bureau.
The development will further accelerate the dynamic upward evolution of the capital city. Just three decades ago, the downtown district was a distinctly low-rise landscape, and its most recognizable ‘modern’ structure was the Dusit Thani Hotel, one of the first five-star hotels in Bangkok and at 23 stories one of its tallest buildings. The area is now a virtual forest of concrete, glass and steel structures towering over the hotel, which was recently scheduled for demolition.
Several of the newer buildings, both low- and high-rise, have won architectural awards for their innovative designs, adding to the new cosmopolitan aura of the city, which despite being one of the most visited in the world, remains one of the most affordable in the region for real estate, particularly offices.
The complex will be built on the site of the old Suan Lum Night Bazaar and the military’s Pre-Cadet School. It will be situated opposite Lumpini Park and at the end of Wireless Road, home to the United States embassy, and near the mouth of Sathorn Road. Both roads are home to hundreds of corporate offices, major banks, five-star hotels and embassies, as well homes, condominiums and some of the best restaurants and entertainment venues.
The rights to develop the land are considered a coup for Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi; the 72-year-old founder of conglomerate TCC Group, who has been named Thailand’s richest man several times by Forbes magazine, which assessed his personal fortune at $14.1 billion earlier this year.
Charoen who were street vendors, left school at the age of nine to work and help his family. As young man, he entered the alcohol business and was eventually able to obtain near monopolies on the local whiskey and rum markets before branching out into beer.
The vast wealth generated by alcohol allowed him to diversify into other business, particularly real estate and he is now the largest property developer and landlord in the country. In addition, he owns 50 hotels in Asia, the United States, Europe and Australia, including the Plaza Athenee in New York City.