Treasury to discuss Mor Chit concession

Treasury to discuss Mor Chit concession

More benefits sought from stalled project

Car parking is the most obvious use of the old Mor Chit bus terminal at the moment. (Post Today photo)
Car parking is the most obvious use of the old Mor Chit bus terminal at the moment. (Post Today photo)

The Treasury Department will negotiate with Bangkok Terminal Co Ltd to seek greater benefits from leasing land for a long-delayed Mor Chit mixed-use development.

The cabinet recently resolved for the Treasury Department to negotiate for higher benefits to be given by the concessionaire, and Bangkok Terminal has already proposed additional benefits, said director-general Amnuay Preemonwong.

The cabinet approved Bangkok Terminal as the concessionaire of the Mor Chit project, comprising a shopping centre, a hotel and a serviced apartment building with a usable areas of 712,350 square metres, of which 600,350 sq m is for commercial purpose and the remainder is for the state-run Transport Co.

According to the current contract, the project's value has increased to 26.9 billion baht from 18 billion in the past.

During the five-year construction period, the concessionaire is required to pay a land-use fee of 509 million baht a year, a fee for allocation of developed space of 550 million and a rental fee of 5.35 million.

The rental fee will be increased by 15% every five years. Bangkok Terminal has the right to operate the property for 30 years with an option of a two-time contract renewal at 10 years each.

The 63-rai Mor Chit project was granted to Sun Estate Co, renamed Bangkok Terminal, 23 years ago but was stalled amid allegations of corruption and economic turmoil after the 1997 financial crisis and legal probing over whether the project complied with terms of the 1992 Joint Public-Private Venture Act.

The Supreme Administrative Court, however, has removed legal hurdles by ruling that the project can proceed.

Mr Amnuay said Bangkok Terminal will spend 18 months on design details and to seek an environmental impact assessment licence and approval from related state agencies for construction.

For the development of the Roi Chak Sam project, which would turn the 100-year-old Customs House on five rai along the Chao Phraya River into a luxury hotel, the Treasury Department will propose that the Finance Ministry consider the draft of an amended contract this week, he said.

The negotiation for new benefits that SET-listed U City Plc, renamed from Natural Park Plc (N-Park), will give to the state is essential after the project's development has been halted for 14 years, Mr Amnuay said.

N-Park and the consortium won a 30-year concession contract from the Treasury Department in 2005 to develop and manage the boutique hotel with a maximum of 33 rooms on a plot of Charoen Krung Road.

Mr Amnuay said the project is still seeking development into a luxury hotel, but the company plans to reduce the size of the rooms and increase the number to 50-60.

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