Thailand's Ministry of Finance and U City Public Company Limited (PLC) have signed a contract to develop state property Rong Phasi Roi Chak Sam (Old Customs House and surrounds) into a luxury hotel.
U City PLC. will invest THB3 billion (US$94mil) in redeveloping the historical site as part of a joint venture with Amanresorts Services Limited and Silverlink Resorts Limited. The hotel is expected to open in 2025.
The contracts cover a 30-year lease agreement on the State Property including all buildings within the compound of Rong Phasi Roi Chak Sam. U City will lead the project, which involves the restoration of the heritage customs house buildings and construction of a new building, with a total area of 15,900 sqm.
Ms. Piyaporn Phanachet, CEO of U City PLC, unveiled the plan for the redevelopment, which focuses on preserving the legacy of the 130-year-old building and reflecting the charm of its traditional architecture.
“U City recognises the importance of the historical and cultural value which are inherited with Rong Phasi Roi Chak Sam,” said Ms. Piyaporn. “The company is ready to start the restoration works and develop the prestige site through the concept that blends conservation with the dimensions of contemporary and cultural dynamics, we aim to bring this historic building to life again and promote value-added tourism for local communities around the area.”
The new hotel will offer comprehensive facilities including a function room, meeting rooms and restaurants. The project is aimed at enhancing tourism business along the banks of the Chao Phraya River and Bang Rak District.
The area of Rong Phasi Roi Chak Sam comprises heritage buildings dating back to 1888. The neoclassical building, which once served as a customs house, is three storeys high with a four-storey central hallway. In 1959, Rong Phasi Roi Chak Sam was transformed into Bang Rak Fire Station, which operated for 60 years before the station moved to a new location.
U City will cooperate with archaeological experts and the Fine Arts Department to start on the excavation as well as recording the archaeological remains. It is expected that the excavation process, together with the restoration and the construction of the new building, will take approximately six years before hotel operation starts.