Demolition of the British Embassy in Bangkok


Above: British Embassy land fronting Ploenchit Road. Existing structures are being removed.

British Embassy demolition - April 12, 2006

Firms vie for embassy land
- Bangkok Post, March 31, 2006
...The nine-rai site in front of the British Embassy on Ploenchit Road could fetch as much as one million baht per square wah, say industry executives. That would far outstrip prices paid for prime land on Silom and Sathorn roads, which have been known to fetch between 200,000 and 400,000 baht per square wah.
Two years ago a plot of land on Sathorn Road belonging to the United States Information Services (USIS) fetched 260,000 baht per square wah at an auction.
It was purchased by Singapore's Hotel Properties Limited (HPL) and is being developed into a high-end condominium, The Met...
If it succeeds, LH has said that it plans to invest around 13.5 billion baht in the plot over four years to develop three kinds of property: a serviced apartment building, an office building and a hotel, on 150,000 square metres...
British Embassy to sell land in Bangkok - UPI, November 25, 2004
The British government is going ahead with a major redevelopment of its Bangkok embassy and will be selling a huge chunk of its prime land.
Ambassador David Fall said the plans to sell four acres of the present 12-acre site were "an open secret," even though there has been no formal announcement and the deal is waiting for the go-ahead from London, Business Day reported Thursday.
The scheme could be delayed or even postponed by the softness in the Bangkok property market or by the firmness of sterling.
In the meantime, a London firm has been commissioned to design new housing to accommodate embassy staff who would be displaced by the sale.
The British Embassy, then a legation, moved to its present site in 1926, when it was a remote, rural spot. A statue of Queen Victoria moved from the old legation was the first structure on the new site.
During World War II, the statue of Queen Victoria was boarded up, but the Japanese occupiers provided a peephole so that the old queen would not be too upset. The British legation became an embassy in 1947.

For sale: government land assets from Bangkok to Chelsea - This is London, December 12, 2006
...The British Embassy in Bangkok sold off less than four acres "of the noisiest most polluted and least used" part of the 13-acre Embassy grounds to a shopping centre and raked in £50million. The entire complex was valued at just £8.8m in the 2001 National Asset Register...

Central wins bid for most valuable land - Bangkok Post, April 28, 2006
Central Retail Corporation (CRC), the country's largest retail chain, has won the bid for the British Embassy land, which has been touted as the most valuable plot in Thailand. An industry source said CRC beat Land & Houses Plc in the final round of bidding with an offer of more than 900,000 baht per square wah, or three billion baht, for the prime nine-rai plot on the corner of Wireless and Phloen Chit roads, while the latter proposed 880,000 baht...
Central Chidlom leases a one-rai plot from the Kamol Sukosol Group for parking space, which would be in jeopardy if the lease cannot be renewed...
In another development, Kobchai Chirathivat, the president of Central Pattana Plc, the group's property development arm, confirmed that CentralWorld would open on June 30, on schedule...

Central buys 'priciest plot' from UK Embassy - The Nation, May 16, 2006
The sale of part of the British embassy compound in Bangkok to the Central Group was completed yesterday in a historic deal reportedly worth about £50 million - Bt3.5 billion...
The embassy originally occupied about 31 rai of land that had been purchased in 1922 from Phya Pakdi Noraset (Nai Lert). There had been talk of the sale of part of the property for over a decade, but it was not until late last year that bidding was opened on about one-third of the block...


Changes at the British embassy compound - February 24, 2007
Where did the Queen Vic statue go? In the last three months there is only one "Embassy News and Press Release": SALE OF PART OF BRITISH EMBASSY COMPOUND
1. The 12.75-acre compound was larger than needed. The site was purchased outright by the British Government in 1922. Originally located on the outskirts of the city, it is now part of the Central Business District. The land sold was the most polluted and noisiest part of the compound; next to a six lane arterial road (Ploenchit) and the skytrain elevated railway.
2. The War Memorial and statue of Queen Victoria will be moved to appropriate sites near the Residence.

Google placemark for the site

Above: Undated postcard showing the Queen Victoria Memorial

Britain to sell off its prime acres in Thailand - Telegraph, February 10, 2005
To be sold: four acres of prime land in central Bangkok, currently occupied by one war memorial, some diplomatic buildings, and a historic flag pole. Estimated value: up to £30 million. Apply: HM Government, Whitehall...
The war memorial will be moved elsewhere within the compound, as will the statue of Queen Victoria which would otherwise find itself facing the back wall of whatever is built on the land. Efforts will also be made to preserve a huge steel flagpole, specially imported from Hong Kong in the 1890s at a cost of £500 - earning the then vice-consul a reprimand for unnecessary extravagance...

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