The Nation

Seacon's Bang Khae mall to open next April

Seacon Development is scheduled to open Seacon Square Bangkae shopping mall in Bangkok's Bang Khae district next April after a delay of more than six months.

With total retail space of 300,000 square metres, Seacon Square Bangkae will house more than 250 tenants. One-third of the space has already been leased.Tatiya Sosothikul, managing director of Seacon Development Co, which will operate the shopping centre, said he did not think the opening of new mall would disrupt competition in the area, which has been dominated up to now by The Mall Bangkae.He said every shopping mall had its own character and attractions. Shoppers have always rotated their visits from one mall to another."We have invested about Bt3 billion in major renovation of the shopping mall, previously known as Future Park Bangkae, which has been neglected for almost 10 years," Tatiya said. "That is about Bt500 million higher than the initial budget. Extra investment has been allocated to main interior systems such as electricity, lifts and escalators." He said that after the renovation, he targeted Seacon Square Bangkae to break even in seven years."Since Seacon is a pioneer and leading business developer keen on shopping complexes, we recognised the business opportunity in the Petchakasem area. The location is surrounded by residential units, hospitals and universities. "We plan to turn Seacon Bangkae into one of the largest and most modern shopping centres under the concept of reviving the modern lifestyle of Petchakasem Road, with about Bt3 billion in investment to build a modern 'wave design' complex on 40 rai." Future Park Bangkae, with more than 300,000 square metres of space, is two-thirds the size of Seacon Square, the company's mall in Prawet district.Developed 15 years ago by the Univest Group, Future Park Bangkae entered the rehabilitation process after running into liquidity problems in 1997. Seacon Development acquired the property last year.Charan Poopat, vice president for operations of Seacon Development, said the new Seacon Square Bangkae would serve about 900,000 people living in five major districts in a 10-kilometre radius, namely Phasi Charoen, Bang Khae, Chom Thong, Taling Chan and Thawee Watthana."There are about 441 housing projects in the catchment area, of which about 218 have homes priced at more than Bt4 million each," Charan said.He said that Seacon Square Bangkae was expected to attract about 75,000 daily shoppers on weekdays, and up to 130,000 on weekends, similar to the number of visitors attracted to Seacon Square shopping complex on Srinakarin Road.

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