There is little doubt that East Pattaya, or the Darkside as it is often referred to, is one of the most popular places in Pattaya to live for expatriates. The area has almost everything including restaurants, bars, doctors and of course shops but one thing is missing – a shopping centre. With quite literally tens of thousands of people living in the area it is surprising that it has taken this long before construction has actually begun but like buses, you wait so long for one, then two come along at once!
This first of the shopping centres that is currently under construction is located on Soi Khao Noi close to Chok Chai 1 and Chok Chai 2 for those who are familiar with the area. Not surprisingly, given the location, Chok Chai are the developers for this project and have given it the very original name of Chok Chai Shopping Plaza. This shopping complex already has vast numbers of condo units in its direct vicinity, with Chok Chai Condo comprising of around 1,000 unit in the current development that’s nearly finished, and the proposed two 15 storey development that should start progress later this year or early next.
When finished, the project will be 2 storeys high and have ample underground parking. There will be commercial retail units as well as a host of food outlets including restaurants. At this stage there has been no announcement as to who will be occupying the stores but it would seem reasonable to expect a number of the major high street stores will be making their presence felt.
The second shopping centre will be located close to the Mabprachan Reservoir with construction yet to commence – indeed this appears to be purely at the planning stage with a number of rumours flying around. This project will be located on the Nongprue rather than the Pong side of the reservoir and will incorporate a large shopping centre along with 4 condo buildings, apparently.
The shopping centre is believed to be aimed at attracting the local major retails as well as international brands. Road access will be from the 7 and 36 Highways as well as the major routes from Pattaya and Huay Yai. It is unclear when building work will start but it is unlikely to be before the end of 2015. The major road infrastructure to support this project has been planned for some time and the route run alongside the lake dam and head out towards Huey Yai, being duel carriageway most of the way.
So what will the affect be on the local area? For the residents of East Pattaya it is surely a good thing with the increased problems of crossing the Sukhumvit Road and the lack of the ‘better known’ stores in that part of town. The local shopkeepers, market stall holders and restaurants are likely to be less enamoured. They have held the monopoly for some time now with little or no competition. It is inevitable that some will fall by the wayside but unfortunately…that’s progress.
How will this affect the local areas for purchasing land and houses for residential purposes? Many moved to Maprachan Lake area over the years to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and the more populated areas of the main Soi’s leading out towards the lake. Will this inadvertently create a new area within the Greater Pattaya region, being the new upmarket quiet residential area that Maprachan Lake has been renowned for all of these years?
Images of the Chok Chai Plaza site in Soi Khao Noi