Developers' views sought on Makkasan
The Treasury Department will meet with large property developers to seek opinions on how to make the most of a prime land plot owned by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) in Bangkok's Makkasan area.
Without market feedback, development of Makkasan could be set back, Treasury Department director-general Chakkrit Parapuntakul said.
The views of experienced developers are expected to help set the future direction of development in the area.
The Treasury Department has developed a number of land plots in prime areas of Bangkok, but some projects have hit a snag.
The delayed projects include a long-stalled Mor Chit development on 63 rai, expansion of the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center and plans to refurbish the 19th-century Customs House on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River.
The Treasury Department and the SRT will try to settle their conflicting appraisal values of the Makkasan land from June 19-20.
If a conclusion is reached, the result will be forwarded for cabinet approval, Mr Chakkrit said.
The department recently appraised a rental value of no more than 30 billion baht, well below the SRT's 50-billion-baht assessment.
The loss-ridden SRT has agreed to lease the Makkasan plot for a certain period to the Finance Ministry to clear part of the railway operator's hefty debt.
The 700-rai plot comprises a large swamp and 497 rai of land that can be developed.
Mr Chakkrit said the two appraisal values were possibly based on different scenarios.
The SRT appraised the 497-rai plot, valued at 195 billion baht, based on data from its land appraisal adviser in 2010, determining a rental fee for a 50-year lease of 100 million baht a rai or 50 billion total, a source recently said.
The Treasury Department argues that the SRT's appraisal price of 250,000 baht a square wah is too high, as the market price stands at 210,000 baht. The department's appraisal is 115,000 baht per sq wah.
Some 150 rai of the 497 is to be developed as a public park, with 30 rai for a museum and 317 rai for commercial purposes.
Separately, Mr Chakkrit said lease rates and fees for land in six provinces now owned by government entities and to be developed into industrial estates or rented to private companies in special economic zones (SEZs) would be set at attractive rates to draw investors.
Half the 8,000 rai set aside for industrial estates in SEZs will be developed by the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) and the rest by the private sector under concessions.
The lease period may be set at 50 years with a renewal option for another 50 years.
The lease rate is expected to be raised by 15% every five years.
The government will bear responsibility for basic infrastructure such as tap water, electricity and external roads.
The IEAT and concessionaires are supposed to provide other infrastructure in SEZ areas.