Anyone familiar with Thailand’s tertiary education system, will immediately recognize Chulalongkorn University’s (CU) dominance at the top of the nation’s college rankings. With an illustrious reputation as the local Oxford or even Thailand’s Harvard University, Chulalongkorn’s deep history and its prestigious roster of alumni from influential statesmen to popular actors, make the institution Thailand’s closest equivalent to an Ivy League!
Historically CU has always been well-endowed; the institution controls an extensive real estate portfolio of land and buildings that extend from Siam to Samyan, often referred to as the “Chula-Samyan” neighborhood.
CU is now leveraging its reputation, financial clout and extensive real estate holdings to remodel the “Chula-Samyan” neighborhood into an education and innovation hub. This expansive urban transformation is ambitiously named the “CU2040 Masterplan”.
CU’s development ambitions are primarily led by a desire to extend and modernize its aging campus. However, in the process the venerable university hopes to position itself and its extensive campus as a hotbed for education, innovation and technology creating a “Silicon Valley/Stanford- like” ecosystem and lifestyle, where private-sector enterprise can intertwine with the brightest young minds of Thailand!
The CU2040 Masterplan
CU2040 provides plans to transform Chulalongkorn University into an innovative learning hub by 2023, with multidisciplinary studies to encourage collaboration among students, lecturers and outside experts. To achieve this goal, CU is ambitiously upgrading and redeveloping its campus infrastructure.
The Sala Phra Keow building will become a “centre of excellence”, with lecturers in various fields perfoming innovation research alongside professionals; a new laboratory will be setup in these facilities, to encourage synergy among science, engineering, design and business.
The redevelopment plans will include the development of an innovative digital library, learning center and new botanical gardens to promote the “green” principles of sustainability.
A major component of the CU2040 Masterplan is the creation of a 24-hour “student hub”, that will include a large co-working space, galleries, a garden cafe, bistros and a stadium, linked by a network of covered pedestrian walkways.
These exciting developments spearheaded by CU, could position the Chula-Samyan neighborhood as an education and innovation center for Bangkok!
Chula-Samyan: A Lifestyle Complementing Academia
The Chula – Samyan neighbourhood is already a thriving hub for students, faculty and the public. Interestingly, an urban ecosystem catering to academia, is gradually starting to develop!
The 40-storey Chamchuri Square office complex includes an Edutainment Gateway shopping mall featuring bookshops, restaurants and education service centres, and is home to a National Science Museum exhibition centre. Across the street, Too Fast to Sleep an established co-working space offers all-night food, coffee and internet to university students, young professionals and entrepreneurs.
Sensing growing local demand, Golden Land Property Development has launched Samyan Mitrtown a mixed-use project due to complete in late 2019. Located at the corner of Rama IV and Phaya Thai roads, the project will include the leasehold Triple Y Residence condominium, 48,000 square metres of office space and a retail complex. Its six-storey retail area will include “Never Sleep Mitr”, inner Bangkok’s first all-night retail zone, and a co-learning space.
A Residential Boom in the Making!
The capital’s residential developers are taking notice and are making forays into the booming area. Two recently launched condominium projects by established developers include:
• Ananda’s IDEO Q Chula – Samyan, on Rama 4 Road near Si Phraya Road, now ready for occupancy. A 40-storey tower provides 1,598 residential units and 7 shop spaces. Among the many amenities offered is a semi-outdoor cinema area.
• Pruksa’s Chapter Chula – Samyan, on Si Phraya Road near MRT Sam Yan Station, opening in late 2021. It will offers 181 residences, including space-efficient interlocking models. Community facilities will include an outdoor “Garden Edge” park and a three-storey indoor Urban Forest in the sky.
Implementation of CU2040 is certain to further stimulate demand for housing in this already popular neighbourhood, making Chula- Samyan attractive to both residential property developers and buyers looking for attractive investment value!