The Rise of Bangkok’s New Districts #GlobalCities2015

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Cyberworld Tower, Rachadapisek, Bangkok

The rise of the ‘new districts’ is a trend that is happening across the world, and is discussed in our latest global publication Global Cities 2015 Report,  but whilst staff retention and attraction are also central to a company’s decision making process in Bangkok, the emergence of Bangkok’s new districts is also being driven by other factors.

Bangkok has a scarcity of prime development sites, and as such prices are climbing. In fact prime development sites in Bangkok topped the region in our recent Knight Frank Prime Asia Development Land Index, where Bangkok saw the largest increase at a stellar 18.2% in H1 2014.

As occupancies climb to over 90% in the city’s high rise office towers, eyes are being cast towards locations that were previously shunned by larger firms. Facilitated by improved access via mass transit and advancing rents, locations such as Rachadapisek and Rama 9 have become increasingly popular, both with developers and occupiers who enjoy abundant retail, quality buildings, and convenient access, without the CBD rental premium.

Today more than ever technology and mass transit has made office locations less about being convenient for clients, and more about being close to where staff live and play. So perhaps it is only natural that locations such as Thonglor, Ekamai and Phaholyothin, which were once primarily regarded as high net worth residential locations, have become fashionable with young entrepreneurs who shun suits, ties and traditional office towers for jeans, coffee, and collaborative co-working spaces.

This trend looks set to continue, Bangkok has almost 200kms of mass transit routes under construction or being planned to complete over the next 10 years, and as it does, our notion of what makes a Bangkok business district will have to adapt.

To quote from our Global Cities report “the challenge for the Global Cities is balancing the conflicting demands of accommodating the new wave of firms, and their workers, in the same highly sought after districts”.

If you haven’t already followed that link to the report, I urge you to do so, its free and makes for a fascinating read with unique insights into the future of our work, and our cities.

Grab it at the link below:


Happy 25th WWW!

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The World Wide Web is now 25 years old. I don’t recall learning about the web until perhaps the movie “War Games” but didn’t have my first email address until 1996 when I got online for the first time at college, where I completed my dissertation in the same year on “Using the Internet to Market Commercial Property”, something that I now do every day as part of my business.
The web wasn’t new at the time, it had been growing since for 7 years already, but it certainly wasn’t mainstream.
My lecturer was very interested and got in touch with the Estates Gazette who invited to write an article on the topic for, sadly I declined as it was during the time when I had to sit for my finals. 
In short I wrote about how important a marketing medium the internet would become, I’ll always remember the quote that found from a book (whose title escapes me) who likened the web to a market where everyone had turned out all the lights and whilst the store itself was important, it was just as critical to go out into the market and show people how to reach your site.
Saying that the internet would become important, sounds like a no brainer with hindsight, but my dissertation was really out of left field, time it was a lot more hopeful than it would appear. Few people had mobile phones and fewer people still had a laptop at home unless it was issued by their company.
If you were on the net in 1996, chances are you would be using Netscape 2.0, but there wasn’t a lot of things to do online, firms with websites were a rarity, and the outlook wasn’t great:
Woe be onto you if you actually admitted to playing video games, which was more than just frowned upon, especially in the Luddite filled world of the property industry. 
The world, the industry and the web have all changed so much since then in fact everything has been turned upside down. The web has morphed beyond recognition, gaming is  mainstream, and the real estate business is investing and innovating in a technological arms race.So what’s next?

My call on next big things are :
1. Drones – drones will become a lot more commonplace, in real estate aerial photography is going to be key.
2. Smart property – by that I don’t mean the internet of things (see 4) I mean a method of recording transactions in a public registry using the technology that underlies cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, the Blockchain (remember that word, it’s going to be important!)
3. The internet of things- when many talk about the IoT they refer to wearable technology like my Pebble smart watch , or Google Glass, but these are, for now, small conveniences, nice to haves but not essential. No, what I am interested in is Smart Cities where tech is employed to enhance the efficiency of city wide infrastructure, and improve the quality of life through innovative environmental management. This could see much greater community participation in how our cities develop and are run
Go Google some of these things. Its an amazing world that we live in, so take advantage of it!
The World Wide Web turns 25 today! Share your memories of what life was like before the web and how things have improved since then—then sign up to protect it: #Web25