British Embassy for sale?

Is the British Embassy for sale in Bangkok? 

It has been revealed by the Bangkok Post that the British Embassy may be looking to sell up in Bangkok. Sitting in a prime location on Wireless Road just north of Ploen Chit Road, the 23 rai site is expected to reach in excess of THB 18 million.

The Embassy have already sold part of its site. 10 years ago they enlisted the expertise of real estate firm CBRE to sell the lower section of the embassy that sits next to Phloen Chit Road. Luxury shopping mall, Central Embassy, now occupies this area after Central Group of Companies snapped up this 9.5 rai piece of land at THB 950,000 per sq wah. CBRE have apparently been asked to value the remaining land owned by the Embassy although the British Embassy are yet to comment as to whether the rumours are true or not.

Whilst much of the administrative tasks of the British Embassy such as visas and passport handling have to been moved to the Trendy Building on Sukhumvit soi 13, the Embassy still holds great importance in Bangkok. The home for the ambassador, the land was gifted to the British from Thailand. Some remarks regarding the recent news suggest that the UK should return the land to Thailand and not profit from its sale. 

Land prices have constantly increased in the capital due to a scarcity of land available. As many new buildings are being built in central locations, the land is being squeezed to make way for new projects, such as Sansiri’s 98 Wireless. Many of the embassies occupy prime locations and are often situated on vast sites too. For some it may not seem surprising then that the UK are exploring their options despite the history the site holds.

Only time will tell if the purpose of the valuation is to review the UK’s property portfolio as one spokesperson from the embassy had commented, or whether the site is actually for sale. Either way the exercise demonstrates just how valuable land is in central Bangkok.