Dark Side Condo Developments – Is this the future for Pattaya?

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The impressive Chok Chai Development in Siam Country Club

With land in Wongamat, Central and South Pattaya, Pratumnak Hill, and Jomtien being developed at an accelerating rate with ever increasing land costs, it could be well worth investing in an off plan condominium project on the ‘Dark Side’ of Pattaya. (For those who aren’t sure where the Dark Side is it’s East Pattaya, beyond the Sukhumvit road heading towards the golf courses such as Siam Country Club, Lake Mabprachan and towards Huay Yai. It’s called the Dark Side because it was literally dark there at night, no street lights and very few foreigners lived there compared to the city and beach road areas. This has all changed in recent years, but the name has stuck!)

Several medium sized condominiums are currently being developed or already constructed on the Dark Side including the Mountain Condo on Soi Khao Talo 5, which will offer a more sedate pace of living compared to the city. At least for now that is! Currently these condos are being constructed by Thai developers. Should the major national and international developers follow suit? The Pattaya property market is already starting to struggle, in places to sell the growing number of condominiums that are available, so maybe not you might say. In the next 2 to 3 years many more projects will be completed and initiated and unless the trend in accelerated development ceases the market may well become flooded. We have seen in the past peaks and troughs in the property market in Thailand and in Pattaya in particular, currently it is looking like the latest boom period will soon peak. The early signs of this are one major developer has reassigned a large condominium project on Pratumnak Hill to be a new style luxury Hotel together with a very well established Hotel chain, where you can buy a room, but you do not own any particular room. All furnishings and fittings are supplied as part of the deal and maintained to 5 Star standards. You will also be able to rent a room as in any other hotel, when available of course! This is a great idea, but clearly shows that this developer sees the current boom in condominium development slowing at the least.

Property prices don’t rise too much in value on the Dark Side as compared to the city, so a potential foreign investor might not see buying a condo here as a good proposition. Also, many foreigners who have constructed pool villa houses on the East Side of Sukhumvit have had problems selling them and often have had to reduce their price to the extent that they don’t make a profit on their investment and sometimes lose money if they urgently need to sell. This could all change though with the continued urbanisation of East Pattaya.

So why would a large development company specialising in Multi-Billion Baht high rise condominium projects be interested in developing the Dark Side? One large international developer is already thinking outside the box and this is exactly what needs to be done for the big guns are to succeed East of Pattaya. One suggestion would be to completely re-think the model, super high rise will not work in more suburban areas East of Pattaya for many reasons often including local construction rules and regulations, at least for now. People who chose to stay or live away from a city do so for a reason, they want a more relaxed style of living with a sense of space often within a natural environment. So low rise developments within landscaped parkland and exercise/sports area with facilities including shops, small cinema and 100 reasons not to leave could be the way ahead. (Maybe with a skateboard park for the kids too!) It would be a different market than what a City Condominium appeals to, so could initiate a whole new boom in property sales. This would be a truly modern village in principle and could even be a secure walled community. One thing missing, water. One of the main reasons people come to Pattaya is for the beach. Ok, so the developer could build a man-made lake with sand shores in the middle of the development. It’s starting to sound like a town now, but imagine living in a low rise condo overlooking a beautiful lake with trees, birds and of course those tropical sunrises and sunsets only 20 minutes from the city….

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