But AoT is questioning the B5-billion development's legality.
Thailand is soon set get its own luxury outlet mall similar to Citygate Outlets in Hong Kong and Mitsui Outlet Park in Japan. The project comes courtesy of Thailand’s largest retail operator, Central Pattana (CPN), whose new retail space Central Village is scheduled to open on Aug 31.
The B5-billion development occupies 100 rai just 10 minutes away from Suvarnabhumi Airport, with a total retail space of 40,000-sq-meters. It is set to house more than 235 local and international retail stores offering from 35- to 70-percent off hot-ticket items (these include Polo Ralph Lauren, Kenzo, Vivienne Westwood, Superdry and CK Jeans, to name a few), complete with restaurants, a tourist service center, a kids’ playground, supermarkets and a 200-room hotel operated by an international chain. Wallaya Chirathivat, deputy chief executive of CPN, said that the outlet aims to attract over 10 million Thai and foreign shoppers in the first year.
However, a recent report from the Bangkok Post indicates all is not well. With the launch date looming, the Provincial Administration Department is investigating the legality of the development following concerns raised by Airports of Thailand (AoT). According to the report, concerns not only include worsened congestion on the roads leading to nearby Suvarnabhumi Airport, but also aviation risks posed by the mall's lighting, which could serve as a distraction for pilots when landing.
If they get the all clear, CPN will be the first to bring an international outlet shopping experience to Bangkok. However, it will soon be competing with Siam Piwat, the giant retail operator behind Siam Paragon and IconSiam, who, in partnership with US-based Simon Property Group, will be investing a whopping B70 billion to open three premium outlets in Thailand.
According to Khaosod English, the first project will be located on a plot of 150 rai in Bangkok’s eastern district of Lat Krabang near Suvarnabhumi Airport, with a total retail space of 50,000-sq-meters. It will house over 200 local and international stores, including some of the most sought after luxury designer brands. It is expected to open in December.