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City by the Bay – Laguna Phuket’s urbanisation

Bill Barnett

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City by the Bay – Laguna Phuket’s urbanisation | The Thaiger

by Bill Barnett from c9hotelworks.com

If you were going to play a soundtrack to this story, perhaps it could be started off best with the 80’s hit “We Built This City”.

If you toured the Laguna Phuket area in the year the song charted in 1985, the area was an eerie lunar landscape of a former tin mining domain. Today the virtual wasteland had been turned into a resort wonderland and the past is a far distant memory.

What’s impressive about Laguna has been its ability to rewrite the map, and continue to evolve and adjust to market changes over the years. First, as an integrated or destination resort, then as mixed-use hotel and residential community and now it is turning into an affluential urbanising resort city by the sea.

Ask travellers where Cherngtalay is, and they only get a blank stare, but mention Laguna and the recognition is clear.

When you look at Laguna’s pioneering leisure real estate model, a similar trend or evolution has occurred. It’s been a long journey that started with the investment oriented Sheraton Island Villas (now branded under Angsana), to the condominium hotel Allamanda, and onto KP Ho’s core Banyan Tree branded residences and later resort lots on the Laguna Phuket Golf Course.

Other components followed such as the vacation ownership offering that is now known at Laguna Holiday Club, a dedicated residential community tagged as Laguna Village and shift to selling landed properties instead of house lots with their signature villas and townhomes.

More traction was gained with partnerships such as the Dusit Laguna Villas, or else inhouse new brands like Cassia, Dhawa, Angsana or the entry level Laguna Park residences.

City by the Bay - Laguna Phuket's urbanisation | News by The Thaiger

Laguna’s journey from tourism to real estate today best be demonstrated in the sheer number of real estate units that well outnumbers hotel keys.  In a period covering a bit more than two decades Laguna has sold 1420 properties and presently has about 435 for sale, for a total of 1855 units. Impressive considering the period hit two enormous economic downturns in 1997 and 2008, along with Thailand’s political roller coaster. In the end, real estate has emerged as the lead component of what is now becoming an urban resort city.

What is most apparent to visitors and residents alike is how the current development footprint  of Laguna, along with most of Phuket is the push up into the sky. The building footprint of coastal areas is now going from low-rise structures, and now into midrise buildings of seven or more stories. Once green areas are now being filled up with tower cranes. There is a price to be paid for urbanisation and that is now evident in the growth of condominiums compared to the legacy property market of freestanding houses and villas.

Traditionally, resort property was premised on the vision of beachfront or ocean view properties. What Laguna Phuket successfully packaged was the ability to add value to back land areas and still commend premium pricing. Today lagoon aspect properties far outnumber ocean aspects and this is where the future lays, inland, beyond the beach.

As I write this piece heading into 2019 the latest Laguna property offerings reflect the overall pressure of the broader trend to smaller units at lower pricing points. This is evident in the new Dhawa offering at the main resort entrance, or the third phase of the successful Cassia. Another trend is investment properties and a new round of Dusit branded villas as well as Angsana products are rising amongst the lagoon areas.

The economic influence of Laguna Phuket is evident in the peripheral areas that are expanding, with Boat Avenue becoming a decided success and upcoming attractions like Blue Tree and Central’s upcoming Porto de Phuket.

To sum up the story, while the road trip from tin min to veritable resort city has taken many different turns, the impact of real estate as a driving force remains a clear and present example of how the development has set the standard for Asia’s mixed-use resorts most successful offerings.

City by the Bay - Laguna Phuket's urbanisation | News by The Thaiger



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Bill Barnett has over 30 years of experience in the Asian hospitality and property markets. He is considered to be a leading authority on real estate trends across Asia, and has sat at almost every seat around the hospitality and real estate table. Bill promotes industry insight through regular conference speaking engagements and is continually gathering market intelligence. Over the past few years he has released four books on Asian property topics.

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Phuket

Phuket kratom-cooker robs pharmacies – VIDEO

The Thaiger

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Phuket kratom-cooker robs pharmacies – VIDEO | The Thaiger

Phuket police yesterday have arrested a thief while he was cooking up a batch of kratom. He had earlier robbed pharmacies in Chalong, Phuket.

Chief Investigator of the Phuket Provincial Police Col Prawit Engchuan says, “Yesterday we have arrested 25 year old Rattaphon Pales at a house in Chalong. Police seized 0.45 litres of liquid kratom.”

“On Monday night Chalong Police were notified that a man had robbed a pharmacy in Chalong (video below) with a knife. He stole 30,000 baht cash and sped away on that occasion.”

“We have continued the investigation and arrested a suspect while he was cooking liquid kratom at his home.”

“He had robbed the same pharmacy last week and another pharmacy in Vichit. In total he has stolen about 50,000 baht in cash.”

“He was taken to Chalong Police Station where he was charged with illegal possession of Category 5 Drugs and theft.”

PHUKETPhuket police have arrested a thief while he was cooking kratom after robbing pharmacies in Phuket.

Posted by The Thaiger on Tuesday, March 19, 2019

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Phuket

French man and two others killed in Rawai motorbike accident, Phuket

The Thaiger

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French man and two others killed in Rawai motorbike accident, Phuket | The Thaiger

Three people have died and another sustained serious injuries following the collision of two motorbikes in Rawai early yesterday morning (Tuesday).

The accident happened on Viset Road in front of a public health centre at 1.30am.

The Honda Wave motorbike driver was 37 years old Siripong Mulikkabut. He sustained serious injuries and was rushed to Vachira Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. He was not wearing a helmet. His passenger, 35 year old Warunee Hosakun, died at the scene.

The driver of a white Ducati model big bike was 48 year old French man Philippe Menduni. He died at the scene.

His passenger 44 years old Pannee Pongkan sustained serious injuries was taken to Vachira Hospital. Witnesses at the scene say she was five months pregnant.

Police say the Honda motorbike driver was heading towards Chalong Circle. When he arrived at the scene, the Ducati Bigbike came from behind and collided into the back of the Honda motorbike.

Police are continuing their investigation. Police also report that none of the riders were wearing helmets.

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Phuket

Phuket Town Beauty spa shooter kills himself in Saphan Hin

The Thaiger

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Phuket Town Beauty spa shooter kills himself in Saphan Hin | The Thaiger

UPDATE: The suspect in this morning’s shootings, 53 year old Chana Rodket from Songkhla, has shot and killed himself in Saphan His this afternoon. He was a housekeeper a the beauty spa where the shooting took place.

Earlier, a South Korean man and Thai woman were injured in a shooting at a beauty spa near Naka Market in Phuket Town.

The two sustained serious injuries from bullet wounds. Wichit Police reports that they was notified of the incident at ‘The Beauty Spa’ at 10.30am.

Police and emergency responders arrived at the scene to find two injuried from gun shots. Blood-stained towels were found around the scene of the shooting.

The two people shot were 74 year old South Korean man, Kwang Hee Kim (father of Ms Eun Mi Kim, the owner of the Beauty Spa) and a 56 year old Thai woman named as Somsri Chuatonghua, a staff member at the spa.

Both taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital.

Phuket Town Beauty spa shooter kills himself in Saphan Hin | News by The Thaiger

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