Treasury to kick-start delayed projects

Treasury to kick-start delayed projects

The old Customs House by the Chao Phraya River, along with the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, will be transformed into luxury hotels. SMARN SUDTO
The old Customs House by the Chao Phraya River, along with the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, will be transformed into luxury hotels. SMARN SUDTO

The Treasury Department will push ahead with the long-delayed development of two large projects this fiscal year, its chief says.

The two projects are the construction of a boutique hotel on a prime plot on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River and the demolition of Queen Sirikit National Convention Center (QSNCC) to make way for a hotel.

A concession contract for the development of QSNCC granted to N.C.C. Management & Development Co is being examined by the Office of the Attorney General, said Patchara Anuntasilpa, Treasury director-general.

N.C.C., which is owned by liquor tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, plans to spend 6 billion baht to revamp the QSNCC into a 400-room, four or five-star hotel with a 3,000-car parking lot and 28,000 square metres reserved for commercial activities.

Mr Patchara said SET-listed U City, a concessionaire with a prime plot on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River, has offered to pay at least 1.3 billion baht to the government. The company will spend at least 900 million baht to transform the 100-year-old Customs House into a luxury hotel, he said.

Natural Park was renamed U City after completing an amalgamation with BTS Assets Co and Kamkung Properties Co from BTS Group Holdings, and its consortium won a 30-year concession contract from the Treasury Department in 2005 to develop and manage the boutique hotel with no more than 33 rooms on a five-rai plot on Charoen Krung Road, even as there were doubts over its financial status.

The developments are part of the department's three large projects with total investment worth 33.8 billion baht for which no progress has been made for an extended period of time. Development of the third project, a residential complex in Mor Chit, will require more time to start due to construction design changes.

The Mor Chit project, worth 26.9 billion baht, will comprise a department store, office buildings, apartments and hotel on the 63-rai plot.

In another development, Mr Patchara said he wants to see at least one low-cost residential project built on state land in each region of the country.

The Treasury Department is expected to take around one month to prepare details for the affordable home project for low-income earners and those who are qualified to be recipients of the government's subsidy and welfare scheme. The 14.1 million people to have registered for the scheme this year will be given priority rights to buy those homes.

The department asked the Federation of Thai Industries to help seek construction firms and suppliers for the low-cost housing projects, while the Government Savings Bank and GH Bank will provide mortgage loans with lenient conditions. Those who buy homes priced up to 450,000 baht from the projects will make mortgage payments at the banks of up to 2,500 baht a month, he said.

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