Thai Developer One Origin to focus on mixed-use expat projects

Construction News

Thai Developer One Origin to focus on mixed-use expat projects

The developer One Origin remains unfazed by the global economic slowdown and the high level of household debt as it focuses on the mixed-use segment to capitalise on stable growth in the expat segment.

Piti Jarukamjorn, chief executive of One Origin, a subsidiary of SET-listed developer Origin Property, said Thailand has gained high-spending tourists, with the total number of foreign tourists poised to reach 2019 levels by next year.

Mr Piti said the number of expatriates in Thailand remained robust in 2022 at 164,287, an increase of 23% from 2021, with half of them residing in Bangkok.

Its hotels in Bangkok, Staybridge Bangkok Sukhumvit and Staybridge Bangkok Thonglor, reported a strong occupancy rate during the first half, combining long-stay customers, especially Japanese expatriates, and leisure tourists.

In terms of domestic markets, traffic in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) witnessed a strong growth driven by pent-up demand, despite pressure from household debts in general, said Mr Piti.

One Origin’s properties in the EEC were not only dominated by Japanese expatriates who work at industrial estates, as seen in the past, but there was also potential segments from other countries, such as South Korean and Chinese businessmen.

Meanwhile, the slow recovery of Chinese tourism has not affected the company so far, as it has adopted a diversifying strategy to target other countries from early on.

With the partnership with IHG Hotels and Resorts, One Origin is now operating three hotels comprising 1,061 keys.

Mr Piti said rising interest rates would still be a threat that needs close monitoring before investing in new projects.

With the new government having campaigned to increase the minimum daily wage to 600 baht, he said it would impact development costs by less than 5%, which would be acceptable.

Meanwhile, rising construction costs would not impact the company much as it could still benefit from economies of scale as a subsidiary of Origin Property, which has more than 60 properties at the moment, compared to developers which have just one or two projects.

One Origin yesterday launched One Origin Sukhumvit 24, a mixed-use project combining the 411-room Staybridge Bangkok Sukhumvit under the management of IHG Hotels and Resorts, and the eight-storey “Neighbor 24” — a Japanese-style community mall. It has been co-developed with Nomura Real Estate Thailand.

With IHG, One Origin expects to have three more hospitality properties with 857 rooms by 2025.