Analysis of Bangkok’s Expanding Central Business District (The CBD)
The Bangkok’s Central Business District (CBD), described as the commercial, business and leisure center of the city, consist of exquisite skyscrapers housing local and multinational leading companies, modern infrastructures, and vibrant ambiance. All emerged to place the capital of Thailand as one of the most remarkable metropolises in Asia.
Despite no clear geographical boundaries are set to the surrounding areas, CBD is commonly divided into three important neighborhoods of Early – Sukhumvit (from Nana to Sukhumvit Soi 24, in Phrom Phong), Wireless Road/Lumpini, and Silom/Sathorn. The latter formed the original CBD, which rose to prominence in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Furthermore, two distinct sections emerged. The Core CBD assembles the areas within Silom/Sathorn and Wireless/Ploenchit. They are dotted with high-end residential buildings – condominiums, apartments, and several types of houses -, hotels, office towers, embassies, leisure spots, and an array of retail offers.
Ploenchit, in particular, became a strategic place due to its BTS station and expressway entrances/exists, making it an ideal spot for conducting business. The state-of-art shopping mall Central Embassy adds to the glamour of the location shaped by world-class office buildings, renowned hotels, and trendy restaurants.
The Outer CBD entirely comprises of the Early – Sukhumvit, also considered the main tourist zone along Sukhumvit Road. Nana is famous for its night entertainment, the variety of dining choices, and hotels to suit all pockets. The business-oriented zone sits in the multi-cultural Asok, widely known as a hub of transportation due to the interchange of BTS Asok and MRT Sukhumvit stations.
High-end retail options are available in Phrom Phong. The world-class malls’ Emporium, EmQuartier, and EmSphere make “The EM District” complex the best location in Sukhumvit regarding a modern commercial zone and entertainment center. “The EM District” sits in a walking distance from Benjasiri Park, a green lung in the core of Bangkok.
Luxury residential buildings accommodating a considerable number of expats are scattered throughout Nana, Asok and Phrom Phong.
Ekkamai, Thonglor & Beyond
New infrastructures, commercial and residential improvements, have made Ekkamai and Thonglor rise to the level of a CBD in the making. Others commonly refer to these locations as extensions of the Early – Sukhumvit.
Either way, the vibrant atmosphere populated by a wide variety of exquisite dining options, from Thai to fusion and western cuisines, make locals, expats and tourists flocking to both neighborhoods that are easily accessible by the BTS Green Line.
Also, property developers took the opportunity to get the best land plots available in the market for their projects, hence, shaped the area with high-rise office buildings, stylish condominiums, and shopping malls. Ekkamai and Thonglor have a big demand in the rental market,
since prices are usually not as higher as in Phrom Phong, Asok, and Ploenchit.
The BTS Green Line allowed the further neighborhoods to gain momentum, as it is the case of Phra Khanong and On Nut. The latter not only became a residential spot for local middle and middle-upper classes but also for expats who choose to live nearby work or to be “a step away” from the neighboring CBD locations.
Rama 9 – Ratchadaphisek
The convenient travel and commuting options paired with a growing business development and housing quality offers in Rama 9 – Ratchadaphisek make it one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in all Bangkok.
Rama 9 is served by the MRT Blue Line that connects to Asok within a few minutes. Road users can also choose Phetchaburi Road and the Sirat Expressway to reach the CBD or other parts of the city.
Fueled by development several national and international companies have relocated or established operations in Rama 9 – Ratchadaphisek, as it’s the case of The Stock Exchange of Thailand, among others. Office towers became predominant, as well as high-rise condominiums. The booming and growing in popularity of the area has cached property developer’s attention to the point that it is now one of the most desirable neighborhoods to live or invest in.
A wide range of malls, cafes, eateries, restaurants and street vendors adds to a vibrant lifestyle of this dynamic location for both Thai and expats. All ingredients combined make Rama 9 – Ratchadaphisek to be considered the new Bangkok’s CBD.
Bangna is considered a CBD in the making. This popular extension of Sukhumvit is attracting attention from renowned property developers that are setting high-profile projects to transform the neighborhood into modernity as it is the case of The Forestias by MQDC, and Bangkok Mall by The Mall Group. The Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre (BITEC) is fueling the business environment.
The area is already served by great dining and leisure choices, such as the famed Royal Dragon Restaurant, the malls Central Bangna and Mega Bangna, and several golf courses. The future BTS Green Line extension will boost the location into an attractive place for living and a potential commercial hub.
Another CBD into formation, Rama 4 has it all to be a successful case due to the privileged location of being connected to several prime areas of Bangkok.
Despite mid-range and luxury hotels or the mixed-use FYI Center already accommodated in Rama 4, the turning point will be the megaproject One Bangkok that will drive a greater extent of people and firms to this neighborhood.
Property developers understood in advance the potential that lays along Rama 4 Road; therefore, new condominiums are flourishing in the area stretching between parts of the CBD (from Phra Khanong to Silom) and Bangna.
Bangkok is facing an unprecedented transformation of its urban tissue, which has been boosted by infrastructure investment and public transportation networks reaching further areas of the city.
The scarcity of land plots for construction in CBD has drastically increased the prices of those still available, which pushed property developers to invest at other neighborhoods where land plots were less expensive.
Therefore, both public and private investment made such neighborhoods desirable for living due to the mass rail transit extensions, which is beneficial to commuters, and a greater number of aesthetic residential properties appealing to the quality of life and well-being.
Several local and international companies are also looking for new locations in the city to start or relocate their businesses. Moreover, it is expected that new high-end property developments in the pipeline, or already constructed, contribute to the importance of several neighborhoods outside the Core CBD, and Outer CBD, as the newest focal points of Bangkok’s business environment.
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