MQDC planning more smart city projects

MQDC planning more smart city projects

MQDC president Suttha Ruengchaipaiboon presents Whizdom 101, a mixed-use development where MQDC will invest 30 billion baht.
MQDC president Suttha Ruengchaipaiboon presents Whizdom 101, a mixed-use development where MQDC will invest 30 billion baht.

Magnolia Quality Development Corporation Ltd (MQDC), a property firm owned by the Chearavanont family, is considering developing a mixed-use project with a smart city concept in Thailand's provinces and China over the next three years.

The firm's president, Suttha Ruengchaipaiboon, said the company is currently studying new locations in western and northern Bangkok to develop a mixed-use project with a concept of the smart city with clean energy before going to provinces and overseas.

"To develop a smart city property project, good infrastructure is necessary," he said. "City areas in major provinces like Phuket and Chiang Mai also have potential for the development."

The company is also interested in developing a smart city project in China as Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group), the agribusiness giant also owned by the Chearavanont family, has close connections with local partners there.

Currently, MQDC is developing the smart city concept at Whizdom 101, a mixed-use development with an investment of 30 billion baht. The project is located on a 43-rai plot on Sukhumvit Road near Sukhumvit Soi 101/1 where Piyarom Sports Club was formerly situated.

With a total construction area of 350,000 square metres, the project will comprise three condominium buildings with around 2,000 units worth a combined 20 billion baht. The first building, with 41 storeys and 673 units that have all been sold, will have units transfer early next year. The second one with 50 storeys and 664 units is 70% sold, and will be completed in 2019.

MQDC will launch the third condominium building, with at least 500 units sized 30-100 square metres that will be priced from 140,000 baht per sq m, in January 2018.

"We are in talks with property agents from Hong Kong and Singapore who will buy a lot of 100-200 units. They will buy them to resell to individual buyers in their countries," said Mr Suttha.

He said the company will finalise the deal by the end of the year before launching the third tower early next year. As for the first tower, a Singaporean investor bought 125 units for resale.

Last year MQDC had roadshows in five countries -- Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and Malaysia -- to introduce the condominiums at Whizdom 101. Currently, sales from foreign buyers accounted for 30% of total sales. There will also be 20,000 sq m of retail space that is fully booked. Rental rates will range from 500-2,000 baht per sq m per month.

Two office towers with a lettable area of 40,000 sq m and 30,000 sq m will be completed in mid-2018 and 2020 respectively, said Mr Suttha, who was formerly the senior executive vice-president at the firm until he was promoted in June 2017.

The company will also spend 150 million baht to build a 500-m skywalk linking BTS Punnawithi station to Sukhumvit Soi 101/1, which will be completed in six months.

Whizdom 101 is one of seven projects to receive a smart city design award in the Smart Cities Clean Energy project held by the Energy Policy and Planning Office and the Thai Green Building Institute.

The project has three key energy-conservation components -- passive design, district cooling plant and alternative energy -- with pavegen or paving slabs that convert energy from people's footsteps into small amounts of electrical power.

Two other private sector enterprises -- Khon Kaen City Development (KKTT) Co Ltd and Consultants of Technology Co Ltd -- and four universities -- Thammasat University Rangsit Campus, the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA), Chulalongkorn University and Chiang Mai University -- have won the award.

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