Friday, August 8, 2008

Bangkok condo construction

KANANA KATHARANGSIPORN

Equity Residential Co Ltd, owned by Swechak Lochaya, has taken over a suspended condominium for 1.6 billion baht to continue the development.

Managing director M.R. Sasijutapa Varavarn said the company had acquired Oasis, a half-completed building owned by Srinakorn Land Co, a property arm of the Techapaibul family, from the owner and creditor Siam Commercial Bank in 2006. The project was suspended during the economic crisis in 1997.

''The advantage of acquiring a half-finished project is its cheap price and we will add some money to finalise the construction, which has been frozen at the tenth floor, said M.R. Sasijutapa, who is Mr Swechak's mother. Mr Swechak is managing director of the listed developer Everland Plc (EVER).

''We also signed a construction contract with one contractor before the oil crisis, so we can sell the units at competitive prices.''

She did not disclose the total investment, saying only that the company would spend another 300-400 million baht from now on to complete construction, now only 60% finished.

My Resort Bangkok condominium will have 35 storeys and be located on a two-rai site on New Phetchaburi Road near Srinakharinwirot University, comprising 381 units sized between 38 and 157 square metres and priced between 2.8 million and 11 million baht a unit.She said project financing would come from Siam City Bank. Currently, it is 60% sold and she expects to close the remaining sales in early 2009. Construction is expected to be completed late next year.

Originally, the project was bought by EVER in 2006 but Mr Swechak decided to invest on his own through his property firm Equity Residential. The company, established in 2001, has paid-up registered capital of 300 million baht.

''Though My Resort Bangkok is the company's first project, my experiences in the real estate market are not new,'' she said.

She used to buy second-hand homes in Los Angeles to renovate and resell them. Once she gained US$500,000 from a unit she bought for $200,000. She has renovated 20 to 30 housing units in the United States.

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