Mall Group pumping Bt50 bn into six world-class shopping centres
The Nation May 7, 2014 1:00 am
The Mall Group is set to make Thai retail history with more than Bt50 billion worth of investment being allocated to six world-class shopping centres - The Emporium, The EmQuartier, The Emsphere, BluPort, BluPearl and Bangkok Mall.
These imaginative projects will comprise business, retail and entertainment centres that will place Bangkok and Thailand at the forefront of world retail innovation and lifestyle, the company said yesterday.
The expansion will form a major part of The Mall Group's bid to cash in on the full implementation of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) next year.
Supaluck Umpujh, vice chairman of The Mall Group, said the company's mission and goal was to elevate Thailand to a world-leading retail centre with resort-destination and entertainment facilities.
"Following our success in making Siam Paragon, our shopping complex on Rama I Road, a world-class retail and entertainment phenomenon, we are now ready to create new retail mega-projects, which will lead the way to even greater success in what we see as a bold and pioneering step into the retail and lifestyle reality of the future," she said.
The District-Em will be a 650,000-square-metre retail centre consisting of three world-class shopping complexes - The Emporium, The EmQuartier and The Emsphere - located on a 50-rai (8 hectares) plot adjacent to Benjasiri Park.
The project represents an investment of more than Bt20 billion at the heart of Sukhumvit, covering more than 1,000 world-class Thai and international brands, shops, luxury fashion labels, technology, lifestyle, living and dining facilities.
In addition to being a commercial hub, The District-Em is set to be an iconic district for retail, business, office, residential and entertainment facilities.
Encompassing a total area of 200,000 square metres, The Emporium itself will be renovated to project an elegant and modern atmosphere.
The EmQuartier, which will comprise 250,000 square metres of space, includes a high-end shopping centre, office building, atriums for events and recreation, and a park.
Meanwhile, The Emsphere, with a project area of 200,000 square metres, is widely expected to create a revolutionary shopping experience.
"Thailand's participation in the AEC in 2015 will herald a major change in the country's position as a leading regional shopping hub and top tourist destination. There are 10 Asean member countries, totalling 600 million in population.
"The improved infrastructure, transportation and airports in key cities is expected to increase inbound [Thai] tourism from 25 million to 40 million people within the next five years, with the key destination cities including Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Hua Hin and Chiang Mai," said Supaluck.
In preparation of the expected increase in tourism triggered by the AEC, The Mall Group is launching another retail project under its Blu Collection in Hua Hin.
The company is collaborating with Proud Real Estate by investing more than Bt5 billion in BluPort, the first resort mall in Hua Hin district.
The project occupies 250,000 square metres of retail space located on a 25-rai plot in the heart of Hua Hin, across from the InterContinental Hua Hin Resort.
Supaluck said the group's vision also included the development of Phuket into a world-class resort and shopping destination.
Its BluPearl project on the resort-island comprises 650,000 square metres on a 150-rai plot, and will be equipped with a convention and exhibition centre - the most modern in Phuket - a resort hotel and world-class theme parks.
The BluPearl is slated to be the leading world-class luxury retail and entertainment resort destination in Asia, she added.
Another pivotal goal for The Mall Group is its flagship project and the company's grand statement, Bangkok Mall, to be located at the intersection of Bang Na-Trat and Sukhumvit roads.
Udom Suk and Bang Na BTS stations will connect directly to the 650,000-square-metre Bangkok Mall, which will occupy a plot of some 100 rai across from the Bitec convention centre in Bang Na, which is expanding to 300,000 square metres.
The Mall Group is investing more than Bt20 billion in the Bangkok Mall project, which is destined to become a city within a city with its ultra-modern and spectacular architecture consisting of business, residential and office space, said the vice chairman.