Monorail Gold Line proves a BIG DRAW


THE ONGOING development of the Gold Line by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, extending the BTS Green Line from Thonburi Station to the Phra Pok Klao bridge, has attracted a slew of property projects alongside the 2.8-kilometre monorail route.

Property companies are expected to invest more than Bt100 billion in the development of commercial and residential projects, ahead of the Gold Line’s completion in 2020, according to a survey by The Nation.

Monorail Gold Line proves a BIG DRAW  
In 2014, Siam Piwat Co Ltd, the operator of Siam Centre and Siam Discovery Centre, entered into a partnership with Magnolia Quality Development Corporation and Charoen Pokphand Group, for the development of Iconsiam, a Bt54-billion riverside mega-mall and residential properties located close to the new rail line.
So far, six condominium projects worth a total of Bt37.9 billion have been launched along the route, offering 2,967 units at sale prices between Bt71,000 to Bt380,000 per square metre. (see graphics)
These projects have drawn warm responses from homebuyers, with Banyan Tree Residences posting a pre-sales rate of 40 per cent, The River 92 per cent, and The Residence Mandarin Oriental Bangkok 85 per cent, according to Collier International (Thailand).
The realty agency also reported robust sales of condominium units on Charoen Nakhon Road from Sathorn bridge to Klong San, an area close to Phra Pok Klao bridge at the end of the Gold Line. 
Up to 85 per cent of the 1,116 units in the location have been sold, it added. 

Monorail Gold Line proves a BIG DRAW
Land prices on Charoen Nakhon Road, especially for plots close to Chao Phraya River, have surged 125 per cent from an average of Bt200,000 per square wah in 2011 to Bt450,000 this year or a double-digit annual increase for seven years in a row, said Phattarachai Taweewong, senior manager/research department of Collier International (Thailand). 
Despite the soaring prices, there are hardly any vacant plots in the area, he added. 
A JLL (Thailand)'s research shows a total of 2,600 luxury condominium units on the banks of the Chao Phraya River currently on sale, catering to both local and foreign and business people, said the company’s managing director Suphin Mechuchep.
The prices of riverside condominium units in the luxury and ultra-luxury segments have risen to Bt250,000-Bt300,000 per square metre from Bt140,000 per square metre five years ago, amid a shortage of suitable plots and new supply, she said.
A large space is a requisite for the development of a riverside condominium as a setback area from the river is required. Currently, there are few large riverfront plots available on Charoen Krung road, she added.
According to the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority (BMA)'s regulation on building control, a new building within 45 metres of a river bank must not be higher than 16 metres.
The BMA rule and land woes were the main factors driving the double-digit growth annually in the prices of condominium units along the river. 
Condominiums in this location are mostly luxury and ultra-luxury projects, Suphin said. 
Meanwhile, the November 9 opening of Iconsiam alongside the Gold Line, will turn the vicinty into a tourist attraction. The mega-mall occupies a total space of 500,000 square metres, hosting a wide range of premium retail outlets and entertainment venues. A number of global brands are poised to open their flagship stores in the complex.
The management of Iconsiam expects to receive more than 150,000 visitors a day. 
The BMA is in the process of building a observation tower in Bangkok. Named Unity Tower, the Bt4.62-billion structure rising to 459 metres, will the sixth tallest observation tower in the world. 
A study by CBRE (Thailand) shows that Charoen Nakhon and Charoen Krung are the most popular riverside locations, thanks to their proximity to the central business district in Bangkok while the strip from Taksin Bridge to the end of Charoen Nakhon Road was rated higher than others in the sample groups. 
Located on the east side are a number of world-renowned luxury hotels such as Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok and the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok with River City Bangkok a short distance away.
On the west side, Iconsiam is close to completion and is well received in the market.
“This location will become a new landmark and a tourist magnet, leading to strong demand for residential and commercial properties. However, the cost of development will rise given the higher land prices amid a shortage of available plots, said CBRE (Thailand)’s managing director Aliwassa Pathnadabutr.