AWC plans B1bn revamp of The Empire

AWC plans B1bn revamp of The Empire

An artist's rendition of EA Rooftop on the 58th floor of The Empire.
An artist's rendition of EA Rooftop on the 58th floor of The Empire.

Developer Asset World Corp Plc (AWC) plans to spend more than 1 billion baht on renovating and adding lifestyle spaces to The Empire -- its largest office tower -- with the aim of attracting new tenants.

The company wants to carry out the same upgrades at two of its other buildings next year.

Wallapa Traisorat, chief executive and president of AWC, said commercial property is a stable business, but it needs to merge with lifestyle as the traditional model pertaining to office space is not generating sufficient demand.

"New generations of workers increasingly seek personal value and purpose at work, while striking a balance between work and lifestyle," she said. "Workplaces need to be more multifaceted to facilitate connection, collaboration and innovation, as well as to promote positive employee experiences and retain talent."

Of the total renovation budget, 500-600 million baht has been allocated for new lifestyle spaces on five floors. On the 55th to 58th floors, AWC plans to develop a rooftop food and beverage destination called EA Rooftop.

On the 53rd floor, a free co-living space for tenants called The Residence at Empire is planned with a total area of 1,500 square metres. It includes a shared open kitchen and dining area, as well as walk-in storage for shared ingredients.

A recreation zone is also envisioned with a pool table and ping-pong table, as well as a shared communal space for individual work, group discussions and meetings, a nap room, a nursing room for mothers and babies, a kids room and a pet room.

Situated on Sathon Road near Chong Nonsi skytrain station, The Empire is valued at 20 billion baht and opened in 1999. It has 58 floors with a total lettable area of 158,021 sq m, comprising 141,890 sq m of office space and 16,131 sq m of retail space.

"The Empire will play a key role in making Thailand a global destination for international employees. At present, 74% of tenants are international firms," said Mrs Wallapa.

The rental rate for office space at the building is 1,200-1,400 baht per sq m per month. It has an occupancy rate of 70%.

AWC has three other office towers. Athenee Tower on Wireless Road has 44,000 sq m of office space for rent, 90% of which is occupied. AWC plans to develop a lifestyle space on the lower floors and a co-living area similar to The Empire on vacant floors.

Opposite Athenee Tower is 208 Wireless Road Building with 10,900 sq m of office space for rent, of which 92% is occupied. Interlink Tower on Bang Na-Trat Road has 54,750 sq m of office area, with an occupancy rate of 70%.

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