British embassy completes sale of nine-rai plot to Central
The British government yesterday completed the of part of its Bangkok embassy compound on Phloen Chit Road to the Central Group, the country’s largest retail operator.
The price of the prizes nine-rai plot to Central affiliate Tiang Chirathivat Real Estate Co was not disclosed but industry experts estimated it at three billion baht.
Central edged Land & Houses Plc, the country’s largest residential developer, in the contest to acquire the site. The company wants to turn the plot into a shopping area, serviced apartments or a hotel and entertainment anchor to complement its nearby Central Childlom store.
Intense competition in the retail business in Bangkok’s central business district has driven Central to seek ways to build on its existing business, which are now constrained by limited space, according to industry analysts.
Central Executives declined to comment on the deal, but the British Embassy said yesterday it was the largest-ever property sale by the Foreign Office. The historic residence, the embassy and the ‘green character” of the compound would be preserved, it said.
About 770 million baht of the proceeds will fund redevelopment of the remainder of the compound, including new staff accommodation, recreational facilities, remodeling of the embassy offices and security work.
The embassy said that the 32.3-rai compound, purchased in 1922, was larger than needed. It said the land sold was the most polluted and noisiest part of the compound, next to six-lane Phloen Chit Road and the BTS sky train.
The War Memorial and statue of Queen Victoria would be moved to appropriate sites near the residence, officials said.