Park2go tempts plot owners
Thai app Park2go has launched a booking service to reserve parking spaces in a bid to attract landlords of vacant plots seeking to make money from their property ahead of the land and buildings tax taking effect in January 2020.
Abhiram Sitakalin, managing director of Park 2 Go Co Ltd, said many landlords have vacant plots but don't want to sell, invest or develop.
"If landlords leave their plots vacant, they will have to pay higher taxes than if they utilise it once the land and building tax is effective," he said. "The longer they hold the land undeveloped, the higher the tax rate becomes."
According to the land and buildings tax act, vacant or undeveloped land will be taxed at 0.3-0.7% of appraisal value. The tax rate will increase by 0.3 percentage points every three years from the initial rate if the land remains undeveloped, as the government looks to promote land use.
Land for commercial purposes will be taxed at a maximum of 0.7% of appraisal value.
Mr Abhiram said landlords can join Park2go to make money from their plots. Renting plots to Park2go comes with the lowest possible investment cost for landlords, as Park2go will make the entire investment.
The investment includes staff to maintain the parking area and an automatic barrier system. For a large number of cars, the company will invest in an automatic smart parking system at 400,000 baht per parking lot.
Potential locations include those near tourist destinations, restaurants, offices, condo towers, hospitals, convention centres, mass transit stations, piers and airports.
Two sites operating under this model include the plot behind the University of Thai Chamber of Commerce and La Villa Ari community mall. Both generate a fixed income from rents, Mr Abhiram said.
A second model offered to landlords is to join Park2go by adding the Park2go app to their parking system. These landlords should already have their own parking spaces and want to utilise them during off-peak periods.
"Parking spaces at office buildings are usually occupied during working hours on the weekday but empty after that and on weekends, while residential parking lots are mostly occupied at night and available in the day," Mr Abhiram said.
Office landlords can offer parking space at night for people living nearby, and condos can do it during the daytime for working people.
Earlier this year, Park2go launched a booking service for reserved parking amid rising demand, particularly at exhibition and convention centres during events or fairs.
Motorists can book a parking space using the Park2go mobile app up to three hours in advance. A booking fee will be charged at an average parking fee per hour, being paid with a credit card after booking is complete.
The parking fee will be at the same rate that landlords usually charge. It will be collected by landlords after cars leave the parking area, Mr Abhiram said.
Park2go will halve the revenue from booking fees with landlords. Landlords can generate an additional 10-30% on top of existing parking revenue if they use their spaces during off-peak hours, said the 33-year-old startup owner.
The top five locations in Bangkok where drivers seek parking spaces are Yaowarat, Tha Phra Chan, Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, Bitec and Impact Muang Thong Thani, he said.
With an investment of 10 million baht, Park2go launched its app last year.