By Rawinthira Narksusook
Spending one full year in the United States gave me exposure to many aspects of life and introduced me to new highs of international real estate. This exposure reaffirmed to me that real estate professionals are expected to contribute more than a single-disciplinary proficiency. I knew that my expertise in architectural design of hospitality developments alone was simply insufficient to make a meaningful impact in the value chain. I began to tilt my focus towards developing other property types in the industry to broaden my capability. I knew that after graduating from the Baker Program, I would be moving back to Thailand, therefore, it would be wise to introduce myself back into Thailand’s real estate industry as soon as possible. Hence, I chose to move onto a proposition where I can examine real estate markets in Thailand, thus switching to explore the commercial side of the industry.
Moving towards a more pivotal role between design and investment, I joined Siam Piwat Company Limited, a Thailand based retail owner/developer of top tier retail developments in Thailand. I am currently interning in their business development department, as a Project Manager. As a former LEED AP architect, I am determined to demonstrate how sustainable developments have a positive impact on commercial value. Siam Piwat sought my effort to drive sustainable interventions and tasked me to synergistically manage projects’ financial expectations and to overlook the design execution of “ICON SIAM”. ICON SIAM is their latest crown jewel, a 1.5 billion USD mixed-used project situated on the verge of the Chaopraya River. This mixed-used project has a built up area of 750,000 SQ.M, (8.1 million sq. ft.) composed of two main retail and entertainment complexes (ICON SIAM and ICONLUX), two waterfront residences (@Mandarin Oriental Bangkok and Magnolias Waterfront Residence @ICON SIAM), and the “Seven Wonders at ICONSIAM”(The River Park, The Longest Water Feature of Southeast Asia, State-of-The-Art Auditorium, National Treasure Museum and World Class Gallery, Venice of The East Market, Skytrain Golden Line, and The Last Wonder of ICONSIAM). The project is expected to be fully operated in August 2018.
Having an opportunity to work on a mega-project such as ICON SIAM reassured me that there is still high potential for real estate development to grow in Thailand. The essential knowledge that I have gained throughout the years will drive me to perform a vital role in embracing the real estate and design realm in Thailand.