Seacon Development Co has postponed the opening of the Seacon Bangkae shopping centre until next April after discovering that repairs to the interior would be more extensive than it thought earlier.
The company took over the former Future Park Bangkae mall from Univest Group in June 2010 and had planned to reopen the complex early this year.
''The building had been deserted for more than 10 years after the financial crisis in 1997. The main interior systems including electrical system, elevators and escalators need to be reconstructed,'' said Tatiya Sosothikul, managing director of Seacon Bangkae.
The new design and architecture would also require a lengthy construction period, he added.
The company, which operates Seacon Square, one of the oldest and largest malls in the capital's eastern suburbs, also has had to increase its budget for the acquisition and renovation to 3 billion baht from 2.5 billion.
Located on a 40-rai site, Seacon Bangkae was the second major shopping complex to be built on the west side of the Chao Phraya River, after The Mall Bangkae.
Seacon said it strongly believed that the area has high potential given the potential consumer base of almost a million.
''We believe in the growing purchasing power of middle-class people living within a 10-kilometre radius,'' said Charun Poopat, vice-president of marketing and customer relations. ''There are around 441 housing projects in this area, half of them priced above 4 million baht per unit.''
Seacon Bangkae covers more than 300,000 square metres. Around 130,000 sq m are reserved for 250 tenants.
It is expected to draw around 75,000 visitors a day on weekdays and 135,000 a day on weekends.
Seacon Development expects the new mall to break even within seven years.
From now until the official opening in April 2012, the company will spend around 60 million baht for public relations and advertising to create greater awareness.
Mr Tatiya said the country's retail industry was highly competitive, especially in the department store sector, while shopping malls experienced less competition as consumers tended to have several choices in mind.
Seacon Development also owns the Renaissance Hotel in Phuket, which is managed by the Marriott chain. Mr Tatiya said the company was monitoring the country's political developments before considering whether to expand its hotel business.