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KE Group plans Bt10-bn mixed-use complex


KE GROUP, a property and retail developer, yesterday unveiled plans to invest about Bt10 billion for building a mixed-use development complex on Praditmanutham Road, to cash in on the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration's planned monorail project and the

The group, which is due to open the Bt2-billion Crystal Veranda shopping centre – the third phase of its Crystal Ekamai-Ramindra complex – in December, is also looking to launch a real-estate investment trust (REIT) to raise between Bt8 billion and Bt10 billion in the next two to three years.
Kaveepan Eiamsakulrat, managing director of KE Group, said the new multi-use complex, which could include a 30-storey office tower, showrooms for home decoration and building products, a boutique hotel and corporate parks, as well as residential units at a later stage, would be constructed to capitalise on growth in northeastern Bangkok.
The northeast of the capital that is part of where the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is planning to build the Watcharapol-Rama IX Bridge-Tha Phra Grey Line Monorail, which is scheduled for completion in 2019 or 2020.
The group has a land bank of 73 rai (11.7 hectares), half of which has already been utilised for the existing Crystal Design Centre (CDC), while the remainder can be used for the planned mixed-use development project. 
He said KE Group, which has three major businesses – shopping centres and retail complexes, trading, and residential property – would still not be undertaking new residential property projects for at least another two years, but would continue expanding its retail and trading businesses.
“We will focus on developing new projects in the CDC area, where we have a long waiting list of many international and local brands who want to set up shops here,” Kaveepan said.
The BMA is undertaking an EIA (environmental impact assessment) study for the monorail project, the first phase of which will run from Watcharapol to Thong Lor, an upscale area. The shopping and retail plaza side of KE Group currently contributes 60 per cent of revenue, with the trading business – which includes its Sherwin-Williams paints and Kohler sanitary-ware dealerships – accounting for the balance.
The managing director said KE Group would not list its shares on the stock exchange, but wanted to launch a REIT fund in the next two to three years for all of its shopping centres and some residential property assets, in addition to the Crystal Retail Growth Leasehold Property Fund, which had raised Bt4 billion recently.
Meanwhile, Supanavit Eiamsa-kulrat, executive director of KE Group, said that with the completion of the new phase, called the Crystal Veranda, the Crystal Ekamai-Ramindra complex would have a total retail area of more than 50,000 square metres out of a gross area of 125,000sqm, as well as an eight-storey parking building capable of accommodating 1,800 vehicles.
The Crystal Veranda features key magnets such as SFX Cinema and Fitness First, while also adding a variety of exciting new restaurants, cafes, and information-technology and lifestyle shops, she said.
“The expanded geographic target of the project covers seven key districts within a radius of 5-10 kilometres. The population in these districts numbers more than 1.2 million, largely high-income earners with strong purchasing power,” she added.
Meanwhile, the company is developing a new mobile application, claimed to be the second of its kind in the world, to help connect and increase visits by shoppers to the Crystal, Supanavit said.
 

KE Group plans Bt10-bn mixed-use complex

Published : October 15, 2015

By : PICHAYA CHANGSORN THE NATION