BANGKOK -- Thai beverage and retail conglomerate TCC Group has started what is described as the biggest real estate project in Thailand's capital, envisioning it as a new landmark in the city.
The 167,000 sq.-meter complex, named One Bangkok, will partially open in 2023, when the construction of the first building and some surrounding areas is completed.
Panote Sirivadhanabhakdi, the group chief executive at real estate unit TCC Assets Thailand, hailed the project as the largest in terms of investment value in Thailand, featuring one of the 10 tallest buildings in Southeast Asia.
TCC and its partner, Singapore-listed Frasers Property, will invest about 120 billion baht ($3.9 billion). The project will have a total floor space of 1.8 million sq. meters.
"All buildings and facilities will be ready to serve local people, tourists and international clients in 2026,"said Panote who also serves as group chief executive of Frasers.
The development's five office buildings are expected to accommodate up to 500 local and international companies, employing 50,000 to 60,000 people whose spending will support retail business in the shopping areas, the company said.
This workforce "is expected to spend in the surrounding shopping areas, while a substantial number of tourists are expected to come as the project is easy to access," said Urasate Navanugraha, asset development director for One Bangkok.
One Bangkok is expected to intensify the already strong competition in the city's retail and real estate sectors, analysts said.
Bangkok is adding attractions as Thailand draws more international tourists. In November, Thai mall developer Siam Piwat along with food and retail conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group opened the 54 billion baht Iconsiam megamall, which houses 525,000 sq. meters of retail floor space on the west bank of Chao Phraya River.
The site for One Bangkok sits on the most expensive land in the heart of the city and belongs to the Crown Property Bureau, a legal entity that manages land and other assets for the Thai monarchy. The lease period for the plot is 30 years, and it can be extended for another 30 years.
The project spans five office buildings containing 500,000 sq. meters of space and four shopping complexes offering 180,000 sq. meters of retail, along with a cultural hub, multi-concept square and exhibition area. It also contains three residential buildings and five hotels with a total of 1,100 rooms, including a small boutique hotel and a luxury Ritz-Carton. The tallest of the office and residential buildings will be a 430-meter tower.
TCC owns 80.1% of One Bangkok, and Frasers holds the remaining 19.9%. Panote said that 60% of the 120 billion baht in investment funds will come from project financing, likely raised from local banks.
Panote said One Bangkok fits the government's policy to spend heavily in the budget for rail projects and transportation links to improve life for the Thai public. The company is investing massively to create new landmarks that will link with the government's infrastructure projects.
Few concerns exist about One Bangkok's profitability, Urasate said, noting the diversified risk in creating an integrated mixed-use project that can attract several types of clients rather than a single-use shopping mall.
Nikkei staff writer Marimi Kishimoto in Bangkok contributed to this report.