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Waiting for the trains….

By on Oct 17, 2009 in Office

The first question that office tenants ask when considering new office premises is how far away is the nearest mass transit station Inner city shopping centres need direct access to mass transit stations.
The mass transit systems have acted as a catalyst for new property developments around their stations

Sadly since the 2004 opening of the MRTA underground line, the new line has been a 2.2 kilometre extension of the BTS which was completed this year from Taksin Bridge to Wong Wian Yai. The structures of the BTS extensions from both On-Nuch to Soi Bearing and Wong Wian Yai to Bang Wah have been completed but delays in procurement of signaling and electrical equipment mean that the Soi Bearing extension will not now open until late 2011, according to a September 19th article in the Bangkok Post quoting deputy Bangkok Governor, Teerachon Manomaipibul. We don’t know the date when the Bang Wah extension will open.

The good news is that the 28.5 km. airport link should be completed and ready for trial operations by December 2009. The impact on property development will not necessarily be the link to the airport but the role of the line as a mass transit system with six stations starting from the Payathai BTS skytrain station.
Express trains will travel directly from the Makasan City Air Terminal, non-stop to Suvannabhumi Airport.

There is a technicolour range of plans for 12 new lines with a route length of 487 kilometres.These include the dark red line, purple line, orange line, light green line extension, blue line extension, light red line. To date there have been announcements about contracts with builders but construction does not appear to have started on any of the lines. Apart from the skytrain extensions and the airport link it will probably be 5 years before we see new trains in Bangkok.

End users whether they be home purchasers or office tenants are only going to make decisions when they know when mass transit lines will open timing their move to be on or after the opening date of a line.
Real demand for property next to mass transit stations only materializes when the buyers or tenants are confident about when the route will open. The effect of new lines significantly increases the attractiveness of locations by reducing a 2 hour or more commute by car to 40 minute, train ride.

This creates demand for housing in areas that were previously considered inaccessible and means that that areas previously considered unsuitable for office development now become attractive. The opening of new mass transit systems has proven to be a major catalyst for property development.

Unfortunately delays in starting construction on new schemes means we will have to wait some time from for the next catalytic effect of new mass transit systems on property development in Bangkok.

Aliwassa has been the Managing Director οf CBRE Thailand for a number of years. As a Thai national, Aliwassa is extremely knowledgeable about the sale of property in Thailand, specifically large scale high value condominium developments largely in Bangkok.

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