Sofitel Riverside


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)
Sofitel Riverside - May 25, 2004
People often ask about this striking derelict property on the Chao Phraya River. We have had news about it ready to post since August, 2003, but we have been trying to verify rumors about the project--that BMA did not give the final approval for the building or that it is sinking because of shallow foundation pins. However, 2Bangkok.com has found no evidence that any of these widely circulated stories are true.
The circumstances of the original abandonment of the project are unclear. Since the project was suspended in 1996, a year before the economic meltdown, there must have been something wrong with either the creditors or the contractors who handled the construction. It should be noted though that failed highrise projects were not uncommon even before the 1997 meltdown. This was mostly due to liberal loans given to novice developers who were unable to complete projects.
Sofitel still managed to make a joint venture with Central Pattana (the holding company of Central Group) to run the Central Lad Phrao Hotel as well as the Hua Hin Railway Hotel (the building still belongs to SRT, but Central Group and Sofitel have made a long lease with SRT). (Thanks to Wisarut and Pas for contributing information on this project.)

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Hilton to revive `ghost' into five-star - Bangkok Post, May 25, 2004
The 32-storey property, designed with 550 rooms and managed by Accor under the Sofitel brand, will be renovated into a five-star hotel under Hilton International's Millennium Hilton brand...
Mr Pongsiri said the hotel was scheduled to open by the second quarter of next year. He also insisted there had been no problem with cracking or land subsidence at the site, as had been rumoured for years.

Former Sofitel gets fresh funds - Knight Frank Research, July 28-August 3, 2003
Amarin-led group to pump in Bt1.4 bn to revive project. The former Sofitel Riverside hotel, left uncompleted before the 1997 financial crash, will be revived after a new group of investors agreed to inject Bt1.4 billion in fresh funds into the project. Its single largest creditor, the state-owned Thai Asset Management Corp (TAMC), said that after considering several bids it had picked Thai Real Estate Restructuring mutual fund as the new investor group for the hotel, situated on the Thon Buri bank of the Chao Phya River. The new partner will inject new capital for the completion of the 32-storey property. The contract with the new group, formed by Amarin Group and foreign investors, was |signed earlier this month. Ten years ago TWY Property Co opened the site for a 32-floor hotel with 550 rooms and three plaza towers in Klongsan District, facing the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel on the Bangkok side. The project was 85 per cent complete when it was suspended in 1996.
Hotel Sofitel gains reprieve - Bangkok Post, July 24, 2003
The derelict Hotel Sofitel, a casualty of the economic crisis located on a prime site along the Chao Phraya River, has been given a new lease on life in a 1.4-billion-baht restructuring deal under the Thai Asset Management Corp.
The Thai Real Estate Restructuring Fund, a venture between the Amarin Group and foreign investors, was named the winning bidder for the restructuring deal between the TAMC and TWY Property.
The fund will pay off debt worth 956.67 million baht to the TAMC, with 813.17 million paid in cash on the transfer date. The balance of 143.5 million baht will be paid in the form of 9.6 million units in the Thai Real Estate Restructuring Fund.
A put option to sell the units is also offered at a price of 143.5 million baht. TAMC managing director Somjate Moosirilert expressed satisfaction at the successful conclusion of the deal.
"I am happy to see the search for a new investor come to a success," he said, adding that the high number of bids from both local and foreign investors represented a vote of confidence in the economy and the strong potential of TAMC assets for future development.
TWY Property was established in 1992 to develop the Hotel Sofitel, envisioned as a 32-storey, 550-room five-star hotel located on the west bank of the river.
Construction work on the hotel ceased in 1996. The total new investment to complete the project is estimated at around 1.4 billion baht. Total debt owed by TWY stands at 2.94 billion baht.


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)
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