BANGKOK’S RIVERSIDE APPEAL

The banks of the Chao Phraya River, Bangkok’s iconic landmark, is fast developing into a high-end sought-after hotspot, with some calling it the next CBD.

PrintBangkok’s Chao Phraya River, is uncontestably the capital’s most iconic landmark; however it is only in recent years that Residential and Commercial Property Developers have started to pay attention to the area’s potential. When referring to the Riverside, this encompasses 3 major roads notably Rama 3 Road, Charoen Krung and Charoen Nakorn. Unlike the more urbanized and built-up areas of the city’s Central Business District (CBD), the banks of the iconic river offer the chance for daring developers to re-invent the character of a whole neighbourhood.

The Chao Phraya River which has historically played an important role as a waterway for trade and industry is now a symbolic “wild west” and “new frontier” to conquer. However for anyone who has travelled, dined or simply spent time along the river bank, it is easy to understand its appeal; flowing water has a soothing effect on the soul and the area offers a refreshingly relaxed lifestyle compared to its more urban alternatives (e.g. Silom and Sathon). The riverside still offers a glimpse into old and nostalgic river life and the condos which are available such as The River by Raimon Land, offers unobstructed views over stunning scenery.

On a more pragmatic-level, developers have been shrewdly marketing this image and brand of the “riverside living”. Selling the idea of a luxurious waterfront lifestyle, where busy professionals can take timeout from their hectic lives and just breathe in the comfort of their waterfront homes. However, it is not all marketing stunts and clever advertising, as from an urban-planning and investment perspective, this neighbourhood has numerous factors that may positively influence its future success:

Firstly, the area benefits from its favorable geographical location. If anyone were to pick up a map and study/survey the area, they would immediately notice that Silom and Sathorn (part of the CBD) is next door. The areas of Silom and Sathorn are essentially Bangkok’s financial districts and the strategic center of most of Thailand’s biggest financial institutions. This area is an important employment hub for many of the City’s inhabitants. This potentially makes the riverside an extremely convenient residential area for commuters.

Unlike in the heart of the Central Business District, redevelopment plots are available and are comparatively cheaper to acquire. The availability of land plots means that Developers with resources can be more ambitious with their property projects, rather than be constrained due to the size of their plots of land.

Finally Mass Transport Links are being developed and expanded, meaning better accessibility and ease of commute from riverside locations. This potential improvement in connectivity to area of the CBD is an extremely attractive proposition for both Residential and Commercial Developers.

These factors have already contributed to the mushrooming of construction activity along the banks of the river with some notable projects underway:

Icon Siam

This project is spearheaded by a joint venture between Charoen Pokhan Group, Magnolia Quality Development Corporation, and Siam Piwat. These heavyweights have pooled their experience, knowledge and resources, into transforming a massive 80,000 sq m area of the riverside; this ambitious project is set to complete in 2017. Icon Siam will be a mixed-use development comprising of residential, retail and commercial units. The residential units in Magnolias Waterfront Residences at Icon Siam launched in August 2014 and within months, sold more than 90% of its units to a combination of Thais and foreigners.

Canapaya Residences

This 20,000 sq m mixed-use development will comprise of residential condos, an ultra-luxury hotel and retail spaces. The project is due to complete in the second quarter of 2017, and will have a total of 57 stories. It official marketing materials describe it as a “Metroasis”, offering both the convenience of an urban lifestyle and the serenity of a riverside environment. At the time of its launch, residential units within this development were sold at an impressive THB220,000 per sq m.

Chao Phraya Estate

This new development by Country Group Development will spread across 58,000 sq m and the project will count two luxury hotels and a residential block. It has already been announced that the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts will be managing one of the two hotels upon completion and the second hotel will be the Capella Hotel Bangkok. The Residential component of the development, dubbed The Four Seasons Private Residences will offer 73 floors, with all units benefiting from unobstructed city or river views. At launch, the average price per square meter was estimated at THB300,000.

This brief glimpse, into the ambitious developments underway represents only part of the numerous projects that are reshaping the riverside. However this short insight demonstrates how attractive this area is as an investment and development hotspot; some property pundits are already calling it the next CBD. Whether these predictions turn into reality or not, only time will tell; however one thing that cannot be denied is that the Chao Phraya River offers one of the most serene and beautiful sceneries the “City of Angels” has to offer!

pierrePierre Leung is the Sales Manager of Fresh Property, a boutique property agency that specialises in sales and rental of residential property in the Sukhumvit area of Bangkok.
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