Central Group spreads its retail wings to Nonthaburi


BANGKOK, Jan 29 – Thailand’s largest retail, hotel and real estate conglomerate, the Central Group, today announced the launch of a regional shopping complex in Bangkok’s northern suburbs with a Bt10 billion (US$333 million) investment.

Wallaya Chirathivat, Senior Executive Vice President for Business Development of Central Pattana Plc (CPN), said the Central Gateway project is designed as a prototype for super-regional malls in Asia. CPN is a property subsidiary of the Central Group.

The megaproject is located on a plot of land covering more than 100 rai (40 acres) near Bang Yai intersection in Nonthaburi – Bangkok’s closest satellite city.

The Central Group has invested 70 per cent while the remaining 30 per cent is jointly owned by varied trading partners and allies. The project is set to open in 2015 and the group envisages a daily visit by at least 200,000 customers.

Ms Wallaya said Bang Yai intersection is the gateway to Bangkok from the northwest, potentially connecting the western ring road and the western motorway linking Bang Yai-Ban Pong-Kanchanaburi with the Dawei deep seaport in southern Myanmar and Thailand’s Andaman Sea coast. Bangyai intersection also connects the western ring road with the Chonburi motorway to the southeast of Bangkok while the mass transit’s purple line runs from Bang Sue to Bang Yai.

Central Gateway is expected to become the hub of regional shopping in conjunction with the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015, she said, adding that the group is in search of suitable locations for new one-stop shopping complexes, aiming at opening three to four sites each year.

The ambitious plan is partly due to a survey which revealed that Central World – a high-end shopping centre in the heart of Bangkok – is the favourite shopping destination among overseas visitors, she said, predicting the group’s retailing business to grow by at least 15 per cent this year.