SRT land near Khon Kaen rail targeted

SRT land near Khon Kaen rail targeted

The Jira-Khon Kaen double-track railway is being constructed in Muang district of Khon Kaen province. PATIPAT JANTHONG
The Jira-Khon Kaen double-track railway is being constructed in Muang district of Khon Kaen province. PATIPAT JANTHONG

Property development on plots close to the Khon Kaen railway station owned by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) should draw new demand and boost the economy in the province and region, say local developers.

Channarong Buristrakul, president of the Khon Kaen Real Estate Association, said the plots owned by SRT are prime because they are located near the inner town area. The development could drive the province's economy, he said.

"For maximum benefits in the province and the region, the master plan for property development for SRT plots in Khon Kaen should be in line with Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation," said Mr Channarong.

The land should be designed to support transport networks from neighbouring countries, not only local transport networks, because that would have a greater impact on the country, he said.

"The master plan should consider the future and support future development like medical services or senior living," said Mr Channarong yesterday during a market sounding on SRT plots near the railway station.

Project site SRT plans to have property development that will cover two plots on both sides of the rail along the Khon Kaen station, a combined 108.4 rai. More than half of the total on the west side of the rail is a wasteland that was previously a nine-hole golf course.

According to a feasibility study and master plan designed by the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA), there will be five development zones with four development concepts on these two plots.

On the east side of the rail, there will be three zones, including zone B on 16.2 rai that is planned for transit-oriented development.

Adjacent to zone B, zones C and D, sized 16.5 and 10 rai, respectively, will see the development of the hotel, convention and exhibition centre.

On the west side of the rail, zone E, 58.6 rai, is designed to be a theme park and leisure area and zone F, with eight rai, will hold the SRT office and a residential area for SRT staff.

NIDA estimates project development value will total 5-8 billion baht.

Wadsana Taweesaengsakulthai, senior adviser for Khon Kaen City Development, a consortium of 20 firms in the province, said there should be a medical hub on these plots as the facilities can draw new demand and boost the local economy.

"Khon Kaen has at least two convention centres -- one run by the private sector and one at Khon Kaen University -- with four upscale hotels," she said.

"Property development should be anything that can draw demand from outside the province."

Pornarit Chounchaisit, president of the Thai Real Estate Association, said these SRT plots are less attractive as they are not located on the main road -- Mittraphap Road -- and the new city plan will have an impact on the development plan.

"The city plan is open to everyone claiming their rights. If the SRT does not take care, there may be a change in a new city plan on these plots," he said.

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