Thai-Hong Kong consortium to buy Bangkok British embassy
The future of Bangkok’s valuable British Embassy site in Bangkok is finally clear after a year of confusion.
Hong Kong-headquartered property developer Hongkong Land has partnered with Thailand’s Central Group to pay about US$599 million for the site – a record price for a Thai commercial land deal.
The decision ends many months of speculation about the sale. In February last year, Inside Retail Thailand reported that Central Group had agreed to purchase the site on its own for $575 million.
However, that deal was apparently never confirmed and during the time a petition was being circulated amongst the Bangkok expatriate community seeking to block a sale and preserve the site.
While British government officials subsequently declared the sale would proceed in the best interests of the people of the UK, the new ownership remained unclear until this week, when the two developers’ partnership was confirmed.
The British government says it will use the cash from the sale to refurbish up to 30 embassies and consulates around the world.
Central Group had already acquired part of the original British site, using it to establish its high-end Central Embassy shopping centre adjacent to its more mid-range Central Chidlom development.
According to a report in the Bangkok Post, Central Group CEO Tos Chirathivat said the group plans to develop a mixed-use project that will link into Central Embassy.