Bangkok is a bustling metropolis that has a plethora of iconic structures and skyscrapers. Examples of prominent structures include the 304m Baiyoke Tower II, the 247m State Tower, and the imposing new mixed-use ICONSIAM complex. One such structure that has fallen out of the limelight somewhat is the impressive MahaNakhon tower which currently stands as the tallest structure in Thailand. In recent months, it has been announced that travel retail giant King Power has purchased parts of this building in an interesting move that is set to improve the fortunes of this mega structure.
History Lesson – the MahaNakhon Skyscraper
The MahaNakhon is the current tallest building in Thailand (set to be surpassed by ICONSIAM on its completion) and was completed in 2016. This inspirational structure features a stunning glass façade that has a cutaway cuboid style mid-section and top that make it look like a modernist work of art. Within the structure, you can find a mix of residential apartments (some of the most expensive in Bangkok), together with hotels and retail outlets too. The tower and surrounding MahaNakhon square were originally developed by PACE Development Corporation PLC.
Business Deal – King Power moves in
Despite being open for more than 2 years, the tallest structure in Thailand still has unsold plots and assets – this is in part due to its initial “build it and the buyers will come” mentality. The structure was built with the idea that its sheer size and scale would attract buyers and this notion hasn’t come to fruition. To help ease the strained funds of PACE Development, the company has sold over 14 billion Baht worth of assets relating to the MahaNakhon tower to King Power. PACE will use these funds to pay off loans and to make new investments in other areas of business in an attempt to make a return to profits.
Exact particulars of the deal remain unknown, but it is known that King Power will acquire the tower’s observation deck, the Bangkok Edition Hotel (154 rooms), the MahaNakhon Cube retail complex, and a host of sculptures and paintings contained within the structure. The main feature of the tower that remains out of the reach of King Power is the freehold condo development which contains 209 units, 75% of which are already sold.
What does this mean for similar structures within Bangkok?
This relatively surprise purchase by King Power helps demonstrate that there is still a demand for this type of complex and older structures within the centre of Bangkok. Although the trend within the city has recently moved towards new mixed-use complexes such as ICONSIAM, buyers are still seeking to turn a profit and make an investment without the associated construction and development work involved.
Furthermore, this also points towards a shift in the reasoning behind new developments. Some structures such as the MahaNakhon were simply created and their resale and use were given as an afterthought. Developers are now seeking clarity and commitment for a return on investment during the planning stage of new complexes. Pre-sale and joint ventures from retail companies, for example, are a great way to guarantee that what you are building has a valid use and will bring in the profits.
Hopefully, the MahaNakhon can shine in the future and King Power can turn it into something truly fantastic.
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