By Tim Gladwin
Immediately prior to the 2008 credit crisis, the area appeared to be on the verge of taking off, but the consequent economic slowdown had the effect of applying the brakes, at least for a while. Today, a drive along Sukhumvit Road through Najomtien and onto Bang Saray would convince most observers that the take-off is now well and truly underway.
While not the only new condo development in the area, the recently launched Del Mare development, located on Bang Saray Beach Road, is perhaps the most important. This 32-storey, 385 unit project will be the first high rise development in Bang Saray. Previously doubts were expressed as to whether high rise developments were permissible in Bang Saray. Clearly, the debate now appears to be settled. The Del Mare is being developed by the Porchland Group, currently one of the area’s most active developers. In choosing the wonderfully attractive Bang Saray bay for their latest project, they are taking full advantage of the area’s significant momentum.
The sizable AD Bang Saray condominium has sold well, focusing on affordable units, and is now virtually complete, while the smaller Bang Saray Beach Condo has been successful enough to convince the developer to launch a second project in the area. Just up the road, a few hundred metres back towards Pattaya, the Pure Najomtien promises to be a very special, absolute beachfront development.
The early interest in the Pure from domestic buyers, notably those from Bangkok, reinforces the fact that the long standing popularity of the area amongst Thais remains intact and, in fact, grows ever stronger.
When one considers the vast numbers of domestic, typically Bangkok-based visitors who have been drawn to Pattaya in the past by what one would perhaps consider to be less exciting new attractions, the addition of water parks will be very significant indeed. Projections are that several hundred thousand will visit each park each year and I don’t doubt the credibility of those figures.
The visitors will represent passing trade for residential developments in the area. Many will be introduced to the Bang Saray/Najomtien area for the first time. The expectation is that other businesses and attractions will open in order to take advantage of the opportunities provided by these visitors, thus creating a positive cycle of development. Accordingly, one assumes that additional new residential projects will be launched in the vicinity in the coming months. Indeed, we are already seeing the early signs of exactly this happening.
By way of example, one can look to the recent launch, by listed developer Nusasiri, of the Grand Kingdom, a large, mixed use development to be set on a 300 rai site on Sukhumvit Road close to the point at which Najomtien becomes Bang Saray. According to reports, the development will include housing, condominiums, retail space, a hotel and another water park. The shopping plaza will be an exciting addition to the area and very welcome for car drivers who currently deal with extremely busy traffic to get to the otherwise superb Central Festival Mall in the centre of Pattaya.