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RIVER CITY REVEALS PLANS FOR A MAJOR RENOVATION - HUB FOR ARTS AND ANTIQUES

TRANSFORMING THE SHOPPING COMPLEX INTO A 1.3-BILLION-BAHT, HUB FOR ARTS AND ANTIQUES AS WELL AS A VENUE FOR ART HAPPENINGS AND EVENTS IN THAILAND
Bangkok (20 August 2015) - Chao Phraya Development Corporation Limited, a company under the Italthai Group, which operates River City, plans to renovate its shopping complex to become ‘The River City Bangkok,’ Asia’s biggest center of arts and antiques. With a 250-million-baht renovation budget, the four-story, modern-style property on the banks of the Chao Phraya River will serve as a hub for arts and antiques. When completed in April 2016, the River City Bangkok will have premises totaling 13,000 square meters of rental space and have a value of more than 1.3 billion baht. The complex will present a diverse selection of galleries, organize national art events, and offer collectors, visitors and art lovers unrivalled access to the best in arts and antiques from around the world.
Vorrapong Sukteera-anatachai, Managing Director of The River City Bangkok, says that Chao Phraya Development Corporation Limited plans a major renovation of River City with a budget of 250 million baht to transform the four stories of the building into a modern and innovative art center under the new concept, ‘The River City Bangkok.’ With its slogan ‘the anchor of arts & antiques,’ the River City Bangkok will be Asia’s largest hub for arts and antiques. The first phase of renovation will start in September 2015 and the project is expected to be completed around April 2016. The River City Bangkok will have premises with total area 13,000 square meters, and the whole land area and property will be worth more than 1.3 billion baht.


Vorrapong says that the River City Bangkok will be the only shopping complex that boasts an array of premium art and antique shops, most of which have been open since 1985. Some of the familiar names are BEYOND THE MASK by Yingyong Opakul, the twin brother of Thai rock star veteran Aed Carabao; PAGODA showcasing exclusive art pieces from leading artists; THE OLD TIME by Vichai Thongvanit, with furniture and rare antique photographs; HONG ANTIQUES by Tara Sae-Be, featuring antique Chinese and Thai porcelain; and LAMPION by Panvasa Kulabutra, offering antique Lanna-style furniture and antique textiles from Myanmar, Lanna and Laos. Apart from the art and antique shops, the River City Bangkok features leading lifestyle stores and restaurants. It’s an ideal shopping destination that caters to every shopper’s needs and desires.


The River City Bangkok has over 260 stores — 60% of which are art and antique stores. The remaining stores are comprised of 20% restaurants and bars and 20% furniture, home decor and accessories stores. The complex also boasts ‘River City Auction House’ for art enthusiasts to participate in art and antique auctions to pick up genuine antiques and traditional handicrafts from Thailand and beyond. Surrounded by a number of five-star hotels, the River City Bangkok occupies a prime riverfront location with over 500 parking spaces, three piers, and special access for the disabled.
“Our target customers are 70% foreigners and 30% Thais. The top five nationalities visiting River City are from China, Europe (Germany, Switzerland, France), America, Hong Kong, and Singapore. On weekdays, more than 3,000 tourists visit our shopping complex, and up to 4,500 visit on weekends. When the project is completed in April 2016, we are aiming for a 25% increase in revenue.” Vorrapong says.


Additionally, the River City Bangkok will serve as a hub for art happenings and events, holding national art exhibitions, grand auction events, as well as art & antique shows featuring an array of art pieces, antiques, hand-woven textiles, jewelry, antique silver, and much more. During the second half of this year, the River City Bangkok has lined up a series of activities and exhibitions such as: an event showcasing intriguing porcelain products (Benjarong, Blue & White, Lai Nam Thong); traditional Chinese tea set collections and the ancient art of tea; Asia’s art of wood carving and antique furniture from China, Myanmar and Indonesia; an International Watercolor Painting Exhibition by leading Thai and Chinese artists; and a monthly Asian philatelic exhibition.


Vorrapong says the advent of the AEC will bring increased opportunity to the Thai market, especially to the River City Bangkok. “The River City Bangkok is a center of international arts and antiques from Thailand, China, Myanmar, Indonesia and European countries. The AEC is the integration of 10 countries joined together as one community for accelerating economic growth, so there will definitely and naturally be growing demand for and an increasing supply of products and services. Low tax rates and improved transport infrastructure will create greater opportunities for communities as a whole.”


Vorrapong explains that “shopping complexes and community malls on the banks of the Chao Phraya River are continuously expanding. Unlike other areas in the city, this Chao Phraya area offers breathtaking views of the river and this strategic location has a modern and well-developed river infrastructure. Most stores in the city are quite similar to one another, and customers tend to alternatively choose to visit the malls that serve their needs, interests and lifestyle. Now though, shopping malls are beginning to offer a specific group of products and services. You won’t see a lot of malls like Icon Siam or Asiatique the Riverfront anymore as there is an extremely limited supply of land and infrastructure. I believe that smaller scale shopping places with a specific group of products will definitely attract more customers.”


The River City Bangkok management further explains that Bangkok has seen a dramatic increase in condominium projects especially in the city along the Sky Train and MRT lines. Large-scale chain shopping complexes will definitely be scattered across the city servicing these new urban development.  Other smaller-scale developers often develop community malls to add value to the properties but not necessarily to expect huge ROI.  The smaller-scale shopping complexes must come up with distinctive retailing concepts and strong positioning, and the renovation plan of the River City Bangkok is definitely the right development at the right time. It offers customers the best possible experience that can’t be found elsewhere, and that will increase the competitiveness in industry.
Get ready for the new modern look of the River City Bangkok under the concept of ‘the anchor of arts & antiques,’ Asia’s largest center of arts and antiques for art enthusiasts right on the banks of the Chao Phraya River.


For more details, call on 0 2237 0077-78


Italthai Group is a key player in Thailand’s industrial and commercial development during the last sixty years. Its business portfolio is balanced between two sectors that are fundamental to the Thai economy – ‘construction and construction equipment’, which is  tied to Thailand’s development and infrastructure projects, and ‘hospitality and lifestyle’, which is tied to the country’s globally competitive tourism offering.

Italthai Group is committing to make its organization stronger for the future by accelerating growth; it aims to double the size of its business to Bht 25,800 million in annual sales within five years,    and invest Bht 11,000 million in new facilities, new services and organizational improvement.