PHUKET CITY: The Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor) has failed to secure funding for the proposed redevelopment of the Lucky Complex at Saphan Hin and will instead use the vacant six-story building for office space and a “Science Learning Center”, OrBorJor President Anchalee Vanich-Thepabutr announced at a media party at the Phuket Merlin Hotel on August 15.
“The investors, the Royal Sawasdee Co Ltd, had signed a contract to lease the Lucky Complex from the OrBorJor for 20 years and were willing to pay about 500,000 baht a month,” K. Anchalee said. “They signed the contract before the tsunami, and many investors and business owners were interested in joining the project. Royal Sawasdee had already restored some parts [of the complex] and they had a plan to create a duty-free plaza on the 20-rai area.”
However, she added, “After the tsunami, the investors and the business owners withdrew from the project because the number of tourists dropped more and more every day,” she said. “So Sawasdee Co stopped their project and have given the building back to the OrBorJor.”
The Royal Sawasdee Co Ltd, led by President Roongroj Phamornsuwan, has about 20 years’ experience in retail business, including cooperations with BBC France. The original Lucky Complex project was to be divided into three parts: a retail store area; an export goods area run by the One Tambon, One Product (OTOP) group; and a duty-free zone.
“The new plan is to convert the first and second floors into an IT section or an area for private businesses,” she said. “We will move our offices to the third and fourth floors because we have outgrown our current offices, and the fifth and sixth floors will be the Science Learning Center,” K. Anchalee explained.
“But now, we are still in the planning stages. The project is not nearly ready to start, and so far it is just an idea. The Learning Center will require a budget of about 60-70 million baht, which is more than we currently have,” K Anchalee said. “In the next few years I expect that everything will be finished with a budget of about 100 million baht,” she added.
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