Sunday, 2 October 2016

10/02/2016 01:55:00 am

Bali Hai is like a warzone. It is hard to imagine how anything of worth can be recovered.
Such a shame.

You can do a lot with a waterfront. Check out Clarke Quay in Singapore, the Kuching waterfront in Sarawak, or any number of developments around the world. Pattaya is also blessed with an ideal site for a waterfront development, the area between Bali Hai pier and the lighthouse, the road on the left of this photo:

Go back three years and it looked promising. The boatyard that cluttered much of the area would be moved to a new marina. A luxury condo/hotel tower was under construction. A high tech parking garage was almost complete. Get all that in place and plan for the roadway to be lined by high class restaurants, bars and boutique shops. It could be an exceptionally attractive location for an evening stroll, raising the profile of Pattaya.

Here’s the marina under construction in 2014:

Move all those boats, build the shops and restaurants, install a walkway and lights; done.


Let’s start with the magnificent Waterfront condo/hotel development where optimism was high in early 2014 when the marina was announced and the “luxurious high rise condominium and 5 Star hotel Waterfront Suites and Residences will now benefit from amazing views of this marina and the expected upgrade to the entire area at the front of the project.”

Here we are in late 2016 and the Waterfront remains a partly completed shell. The latest news is that a new developer has taken over, changed the name, and therefore will now have to re-apply for a new EIA (which presumably gets round the problem of it being impossible to comply with the old one). They still have a bit of work to do.

The sales office appeared to be open, although an “out of service” notice on the front door was not encouraging.

Still, The Spike Property Investment Trust remains optimistic that the building will be completed soon and we tenants will be enjoying the “pristine oceanfront location”.

Next, the parking garage. Constructed with a budget of 735 million baht, this high tech facility was equipped with complex robotics and your car would be lifted to a parking bay; possibly never to be seen again.

It was due to open in mid 2013. It didn’t; because they couldn’t find anyone prepared to run it.

Two years later, it was announced that a deal had been done and the garage would open on April 1st 2015. It didn’t, because after a period of testing the contractor decided the enterprise would not be profitable, so walked away from the concession.

Now another contractor has come forward, but will not begin operations until the equipment, that has fallen into disrepair after three years of sitting next to the sea, has been fixed. I look forward to parking there, except I can’t because it can’t accommodate something as high as a truck.

To check on the state of the marina, I dragged Rick@Knees down the road towards the lighthouse. He was wearing his smart “comfortable” shoes, which were soon sticky with oil and fuel. Dodging the boats being hauled out of the water, we discovered that the once partially complete marina had now completely disassembled itself, and the component parts had taken over what used to be a walkway and beach, all the way down to the lighthouse.

There is therefore not much left of the marina in the water; just the concrete supporting posts, all that is left of a 733 million baht investment:

Struggling through the wreckage, we finally made it to the lighthouse which is also looking a little tired.


Still, there were some bright spots on our journey. A single boutique shop was in evidence:

And a nightspot which no doubt would attract the rich and famous once the “Ferrari only” parking space had been cleared of boat trailers:

Five years ago, when the construction of the marina had just started, the waterfront was not an unpleasant place to visit:

Now it’s like a warzone and it is hard to imagine how anything of worth can be recovered. Such a shame.

Source: PD

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