Mitsubishi Estate, AP forge ahead with condo development
March 06, 2014 00:00 By THE NATION
MITSUBISHI Estate Group is building on its successful development history in Japan, the US and the UK by expanding its investment in residential projects in Asia.
The focus is on Thailand via a joint venture with AP (Thailand) to develop three condominium projects worth Bt7.1 billion combined this year.
Hirotaka Sugiyama, chief executive officer of the Japanese developer, said the company had developed projects and invested in the US since the 1970s, including ownership of office buildings in the Manhattan district of New York, as well as investments and projects in other cities through its US partner, the Rockefeller Group.
In the UK, Mitsubishi Estate Group started its development and investment in the 1980s, including a redevelopment project called Paternoster Square in London, located next to St Paul’s Cathedral.
In Asia, meanwhile, the company established Mitsubishi Estate Asia in Singapore in 2008 to take part in office-building developments and residential projects. It has since been looking for opportunities to invest elsewhere in Asia, he said.
Last year, the company established a joint-venture firm with AP (Thailand), a listed developer, to develop three condominiums in Thailand. This marks the first step in its investment expansion in the Kingdom, he said.
“We have the confidence to expand our investment in Thailand at this time,” the CEO added.
The joint venture is operated under an agreement with MEC Thailand Investment (MTI), a newly formed company by Mitsubishi Estate Asia and Mitsubishi Jisho Residence – both wholly owned subsidiaries of Mitsubishi Estate Co (MEC).
AP holds 51 per cent of the shares, while MTI holds the remainder.
AP (Thailand) chief executive officer Anuphong Assavabhokin said the partnership represented an important step toward fulfilling AP’s goals as a real-estate developer with a vision to become “the most responsive creator” for its customers.
For over 20 years, AP has remained committed to developing high-quality residential projects that fulfil the lifestyle needs of today’s urban dwellers, he said, adding that by forging an alliance with MEC, AP is taking a major step towards raising its potential as an organisation as well as the knowledge and abilities of its people.
In recent years, the company has sent its staff to exchange-training programmes to enable them to work more effectively in all aspects of the company’s operations, from construction and product quality assessment to sales, so that they can apply the knowledge gained to further raise the company’s operations in line with international standards, said Anuphong.
Through know-how exchanges, the partnership is expected to further strengthen AP’s position as a leading condominium developer with expertise in designing and managing spaces to fit the needs of urban dwellers, who prefer the convenience of short commutes and urban lifestyles.
The partnership involves in-depth collaboration between AP’s product design team and designers from Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei, a professional firm of architects affiliated with MEC, with the goal of blending Japanese design philosophy with deep insights into Thais’ living behaviour to create joint design innovations that ensure space optimisation in every condominium unit developed by AP, he added.
The AP-MEC joint venture encompasses three condominium projects in three attractive neighbourhoods and a combined value of about Bt7.1 billion.
They are the RHYTHM Sukhumvit 36-38, the RHYTHM Asoke II, and the Aspire Ratchada-Wongsawang. The three projects will be launched simultaneously in mid-May, said AP’s chief executive.