Yingcharoen market to upgrade
The 60-year-old Yingcharoen market owned by the Tumwattana family will transform itself into a professionally-run organisation and raise 2 billion baht from a real estate investment trust (REIT) to support its expansion in the next three to five years.
The move is in response to the expected growth in the Saphan Mai area, where the fresh market is located, following the construction of the MRT Green Line connecting Mor Chit, Saphan Mai and Khu Khot in the next few years.
"Our management will be changed to be more professional from the family-run business for six decades. More talent will join us to enhance our capability to cash in on opportunities arising from the growth in the Saphan Mai area," said Narumol Tumwattana, president of market operator Suwapee Tumwattana Co.
CIMB Thai Bank is its financial adviser handling the REIT project.
Raised funds from the REIT will be used to finance the renovation of Yingcharoen fresh market and build the connecting way to the MRT Green Line's Saphan Mai station.
There will be new developments including serviced apartments, a car-park building for 3,000 cars, a shopping complex and a small floating market. All these developments on a 35-rai plot will be completed within the next five years.
"After the renovation, Yingcharoen market will be kept as a fresh market for middle- to low-income people in the area. But its look will be more modern," Ms Narumol said.
Company executives visited several old markets in Europe, including the 200-year-old Budapest market in Hungary and one in Italy for inspiration to renovate Yingcharoen market.
"We want to keep Yingcharoen at the forefront of fresh markets and stay firm amid the fierce retail competition," she added.
Currently, the 10-rai market has about 1,500 merchants and 30,000 visitors as well as 7,000-8,000 cars a day.
Moreover, the company is interested in expanding its business into other retail activities in the near future to offer more services for customers whose lifestyles are changing due to the growth fuelled by the MRT Green Line project.
Ms Narumol said the shopping complex would be built on another 10-rai plot either by using its own investment or finding partners.
Central Group is among retail operators who have shown an interest in developing a shopping project in the area, she said.
Ms Narumol took over a 100% stake in Yingcharoen market from younger brother Parinya in February. Kanuengnit, her older sister, also joined the company's management, serving as managing director.