Office tower takes shape

The property management firm Bhiraj Buri Co will launch a prime office building worth 8 billion baht in the fourth quarter, aiming at giant international firms setting up regional offices in Bangkok.

This artist’s conception gives a bird’s-eye view of Bhiraj Tower at EmQuartier on Sukhumvit Soi 35.

The 45-storey Bhiraj Tower at EmQuartier on Sukhumvit Soi 35, just opposite The Emporium shopping centre, is 72% complete.

The building's 15th-44th floors, covering 47,500 square metres, are for office rentals, while the 45th floor (450 sq m) is for rented meeting rooms.

EmQuartier Department Store, run by The Mall Group, will occupy eight floors including the basement (30,000 sq m).

The building offers parking capacity for 1,900 cars.

"Bhiraj Tower at EmQuartier has a location advantage, as it is housed in central Bangkok and directly connected to mass transport," said executive director Pitiphatr Buri.

"The firm has secured rental deals with about 15% of tenants, all of them overseas companies."

Mr Pitiphatr said rental prices for prime office space in Bangkok remain relatively low at 700-800 baht a sq m, compared with over 1,000 baht in other Asean cities (such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi).

Bhiraj Tower at EmQuartier offers rental prices of 800-875 baht a sq m.

"Once the Asean Economic Community forms in late 2015, Bangkok will become a hub for foreign regional companies, as the office buildings here are quite ready," said Mr Pitiphatr.

Bhiraj Buri has operated the 24-storey United Building Centre II (UBC II) since 1995 and the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre (Bitec) since 1997.

Each generates more than 1 billion baht in revenue each year.

This year it has begun operation of a 60-million-baht community mall, One Udomsuk.

Some 50% of Bhiraj Buri's revenue comes from exhibitions and conferences at Bitec, excluding in-house food and beverage services, while office rentals at UBC II generate about 300 million baht a year.

Bhiraj Buri aims to increase its office-rental revenue to match its exhibition rental fees by 2016.

The next milestone is to expand the second phase of Bitec and build Bhiraj Tower at Bitec, a project valued at 6 billion baht.

Moreover, the company plans to construct a low-rise office building for rent worth 100 million baht on Sathon Road.

About the author

Writer: Piyachart Maikaew
Position: Business Reporter