Thailand billionaire sets his sights on building the kingdom’s tallest skyscraper

Aiming to dethrone the reigning titleholder, Magnolias Waterfront Residences at IconSiam

View of Bangkok in Asiatique, where the planned tower will stand. Travelmania/Shutterstock

The kingdom’s richest man Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi said that he is planning to build the tallest skyscraper in Thailand via his real estate division Asset World Corp, reported the Bangkok Post.

The skyscraper, valued at USD948 million, will be built adjacent to the company’s flagship riverside mall Asiatique and will be completed by 2025.

Asset World will be collaborating with Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, the company behind the tallest building in the world Burj Khalifa. They said that it will be taller than the current titleholder in Thailand: Magnolias Waterfront Residences in IconSiam, which stands at 318 metres.

As of today, no other official details have been disclosed, but the ambitious project does represent the company’s zealous growth strategy.

“It embodies what our company aims to do — set new trends and lift the benchmark,” explains Wallapa Traisorat, the chief executive officer at Asset World Corp and daughter of Charoen.

The Magnolia Waterfront Residences at IconSiam, the current titleholder of the tallest skyscraper in Thailand. iviewfinder/Shutterstock

She expects the skyscraper to be the kingdom’s “new landmark,” which will attract more visitors to the country.

However, the development comes at a rough time for the property and tourism markets in Southeast Asia. The kingdom’s capital is currently dealing with an apartment glut of over 100,000 vacant units, plus 6,000 more in the first quarter.

Moreover, the Agency for Real Estate Affairs estimates that only 10 percent of investments were from foreigners, dropping from a fifth a couple of years ago.

More: Bangkok faces growing condo vacancies as demand from Chinese investors plunge

The tourism industry, which normally constitutes 20 percent of the gross domestic product, has also been hit hard. Data published last week revealed that receipts declined by 3.6 percent in January from 188.8 billion baht a year before, causing a 10 percent slump without outlays from Chinese investors.

Wallapa responded that their company isn’t worried about the decline, adding that the impact will only be short-term. A 2019 Mastercard Inc ranking named Bangkok as the most-visited city in the world in 2018 for the fourth year in a row, surpassing Paris, London, Dubai, and Singapore.

“There will be growth this year. The tourism industry has always managed to bounce back,” concluded Wallapa.