PHUKET: Construction of the Phuket International Night Bazaar (PINB) has been put back by a year and the number of shops it will include has been slashed by 80%, because of the tsunami.
Buildiers should have started work on the 170-rai site off Chao Fa West Rd in March, and the Bazaar should have been completed by November, ready for the start of the high season.
However, PINB Managing Director Dr Chintana Daengdej told the Gazette yesterday that the project had been deferred for a year.
In addition, just 2,000 units will be built, rather than the 10,000 in the original plan.
Dr Chintana said the company had stopped marketing the project in January, after realising how badly the tsunami had hit local businesses and investors. The earthquake of March 28 had not helped matters.
She said, “Investors in Bangkok are too worried to invest in Phuket right now. Phuket businesses may want it to open soon, but as our target group is tourists, it made sense to us to wait until next year.
“This year is not a good one to invest in business. I talked to the people interested in renting the units and we agreed that we should aim to open at the end of next year.
“We intended that 70% of the visitors we would attract would be tourists; usually Phuket gets about four million visitors, but I can’t see that being the case this year.”
Dr Chintana added that she had heard that other developers have delayed major projects.
Although the revised plan contains fewer units, the units will be bigger than originally proposed – 15 square meters rather than 5sqm.
Said Dr Chintana, “There will be more space between the units, and we will be able to add more decoration, such as sculptures and an outdoor museum.”
Although Dr Chintana plans to reduce the size of the water garden she envisions for the PINB, she thinks the new development will perhaps be more attractive than it would have been under the original plan.
She explained, “Under the new plan, only around one-third of the development will be taken up by shops, rather than 50 per cent, as under the original plan. That means we can have more attractive public areas to attract tourists.”
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