AIA Expands Business Platform to Property Development
Bangkok–15 Jan–Inhouse Brand Works
AIA Group is expanding its business platform in Thailand by investing in property development. Over the next two years, the Group will be launching two large-scale office and retail complexes in Bangkok’s prime areas. AIA’s first and biggest property investment to date is the 6 billion baht environmentally friendly AIA Capital Center, the only ‘Grade A’ office complex along Ratchadapisek Road, which will complete and ready to commercially launch by June 2014.
“Based on AIA’s experience in life insurance industry in Thailand for over 75 years, we have strong confidence in the country’s potential especially in its future economic growth and development, revealed Mr. Anucha Laokwansatit, General Manager and Chief Investment Officer of AIA Thailand, stressing that the confidence therefore fuelled the group’s decision to invest approximately 6 billion baht in developing AIA Capital Center – the only ‘Grade-A’ office and retail building off Ratchadapisek Road which AIA believe will become a prime business district in the future.
“The investment marks a significant step in strengthening the foundation for our growth while ensuring a stable future,” he explains. “Although we are currently extending ourselves into property development, life insurance will remain our core business.”
He continued “Our Group decided to invest in this project because we see the solid potential of this location which we believe will become Thailand’s next business center for two crucial reasons, namely its location adjacent to the new Stock Exchange of Thailand, which makes the environment resemble Wall Street in the US, and its proximity to the underground mass transit system. These factors strengthen our belief that this location will become a prime financial area.”
Standing on a spacious plot of land of nearly 10 rai, AIA Capital Center is a 34 storey building offering 54,000 square meters of ‘Grade A’ office space, with each storey ranging between 1,700 and 1,800 square meters, and an additional 5,000 square meters of retail space. The entire complex with a total construction area exceeding 100,000 square meters will include banks, restaurants, cafés, a fitness center, and convenience stores.
“AIA Capital Center features cutting-edge green design because AIA intends to make this office complex visually outstanding, energy efficient and environmentally friendly as much as possible, Anucha emphasized.
“Our building design incorporates many types of green spaces that generate positive health and emotional benefits to people working in the building and living in the local community, so we welcome everyone to use our green areas for recreational purposes and encourage the public to view our project as a new urban park. With ample space, the building is also ideal for hosting various public activities.”
The buildings’ designers have located numerous large green spaces such as the open-air roof of the parking building and the gardens above the retail building. The most effective environmentally friendly systems available, including energy-efficient systems, are incorporated into the design. The simple, modern-looking construction materials are durable and environmentally friendly, easy to clean and energy conserving (i.e. the building’s exterior Curtain Wall System employs three layers of laminated low-emissivity glass to protect the building from the sun’s heat and insulate against sound)
Designed to conform to global environmental standards set by the world renowned American environmental design institution, LEED (The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), the project includes unique qualities that makes it a green building, unlike other buildings along Ratchadapisek Road.
One of the most outstanding points of the AIA Capital Center is the height and airiness of every space, from the stylish lobby with a 9 meter high ceiling to 3 meter ceiling heights in its office spaces. The latter is the highest ceiling found in any office space in Bangkok (commercial building average ceiling heights range between 2.75 – 2.90 meters) and design flexibility is created in offering column-free office spaces.
According to Anucha, transportation is highly convenient for both the tenants and their employees as AIA Capital Center’s proximity to the underground mass transit system (MRT) is merely 50 meters from the Thailand Cultural Center’s Station. Besides being close to the airport link, the office complex is within easy reach of many leading shopping malls and department stores such as the Esplanade, Big C Extra Ratchadapisek, Community Mall Ratchadapisek, Tesco Lotus, Fortune Town, Central Plaza Grand Phra Ram 9, as well as numerous hotels and residential projects near the highway.
“AIA Capital Center is on schedule for completion and ready for tenants to move in by June 2014. This project is yet another significant step to ensuring the continued stable growth of AIA Group in the future”, concluded Anucha.