Bangkok embassy sale to net $100m

Construction News

The Australian Government can expect a $100 million windfall from the sale of its current embassy property in Bangkok, with a new chancery and residence to open in 2016.

The embassy, built in 1979 and designed by Australian architects Ancher, Mortlock and Woolley, is close to a main thoroughfare (Sathorn Road) and is considered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to be a major security risk.

The new premises are forecast to cost more than $200 million, reflecting stepped-up security after the 2004 bombing of the Australian embassy in Jakarta, which left 11 dead and more than 160 wounded.

The blast highlighted the more dangerous climate for Australians in Asia because of the regional terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah.

The new chancery and residence buildings will be reinforced and designed to mitigate blasts. A perimeter security wall, CCTV cameras and appropriate lighting will prevent unauthorised vehicle and pedestrian entry.

A director with property group Colliers Thailand, Simon Landy, said the existing 12,700sqm freehold embassy property would be keenly sought once it hit the market.

”For prime property there is always a market. There are groups out there – if a prime site comes on, they will be in the market for it,” Mr Landy said.

Mr Landy said a 2011 valuation of $46million by Australian officials was too low and the embassy property was likely to fetch more than $96 million based on recent sales nearby.

A new embassy site, adjacent to the Japanese embassy, covers 16,100sqm with a 30-year lease. The agreement offers an extension for a further 30 years.


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