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Phuket’s architects at the helm of development

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Phuket’s architects at the helm of development | The Thaiger

PHUKET:Discussing the future of Phuket property is often left to analysts, investors and developers. Rarely do we receive insight from the professionals who turn these ideas into reality.

The Phuket Gazette sat down with two successful architects, each at different points in their career, to talk about what makes Phuket unique and what the future holds.

Pisit Aongskultong, design director at Modiva Co Ltd, has been involved in interior design for Siam Paragon and Central World shopping malls in Bangkok. He has also worked with leading hotel chains and currently travels to Phuket up to three times a week.

Phuket is unique to Mr Pisit because he often deals with families who own and develop the land, rather than international corporations and their representatives, a detail that makes the work more personal.

Teerayuth Waipunya is a freelance architect with five years’ experience working on projects in Phuket. He has also worked extensively in Chiang Mai and Koh Samui.

His projects range from commercial units in Karon to private residential villas in Phuket’s north.

“Here in Phuket, they [industry professionals] definitely understand the architect’s role in the entire construction process, not only in the initial design phase,” Mr Teerayuth told the Gazette.

When talk turned to Phuket’s future, both men held similar positive opinions.

“Phuket opened its doors to foreign influence and investment after the 1997 Asian financial crisis; this was key to its success in the property sector. It is definitely still a land of opportunity, but there are potential drawbacks to consider.

“Phuket needs a master plan. Development has been happening without direction and we should learn from destinations like Singapore, Hong Kong or even cities in Florida. Power, water supply and other infrastructure issues will arise soon,” Mr Pisit said.

Mr Teerayuth is keen to point out that architects also play a major role in future development here.

“I would like to see Phuket take on similar standards to Singapore, where laws ensure intelligent and balanced development. There are some laws in place here, but it will take a collective effort to achieve more. Architects can take a strong stance, not agree with all their clients’ ideas and try to influence them to take measures that are in Phuket’s best interests,” he said.

Mr Pisit believes progressive thinking is needed to find the right path, “The right questions must be asked to get the right answers. Where will Phuket be in five years? Ten years? Then the master plan will come. Without a master plan, development will become a big issue,” Mr Pisit said.

In making the plans, Mr Pisit said local government must recognize differences and needs in Phuket.

“Governance will have to be similar to conducting a symphony, using each area for its strengths and keeping Phuket unique overall. You have to micro-manage to achieve a macro goal.”

— Michael DesPortes

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Phang Nga

Hong Kong property tzars team up for new Phang Nga development “Aquella”

Bill Barnett



Hong Kong property tzars team up for new Phang Nga development “Aquella” | The Thaiger


Two of Hong Kong’s leading entrepreneurs Allan Zeman and Richard Li are developing a mixed-use project in Thai Muang, Phang Nga named Aquella.

The initial phase of the development includes a par 72, 18 hole golf course, resort pool villa residences with two to four bedroom unit configurations back of a massive land site that offers over 2.5 kilometres of white sand beach.

Previously, the approximate 1,000 rai site was the home of the Thai Muang golf course. After acquisition the course was closed, and the master planned Pinetree project that was to contain a marina and luxury Park Hyatt hotel stopped when land zoning issues changed in Southern Phang Nga.

Today, the new golf course has been reconfigured and Zeman’s Paradise Group who developed Kamala’s posh Andara ultra villa resort in Phuket are collaborating with Li’s Pacific Century Premium Developments (PCPD) group.

South West Phang Nga hosted some of Asia’s most significant luxury villa sales in the mid 2000’s given it’s close access to Phuket International Airport, over the Sarasin Bridge.

Changes in the zoning regime stunted the area’s growth over the past decade but a new wave of interest has been born in projects such as Charn Issara’s Baba Beach Club.

Land prices in Koh Pilai and Koh Kloy have sharply escalated in recent months on the announcement of a second Greater Phuket airport by Thai aviation authority AoT.

That said, the area has a rich history in demonstrated luxury residential sales in projects such as Aleenta and Sava.

With Phuket bursting as the seams, and prime oceanfront plots limited, the recent transaction of the former greenfield site of the Ritz-Carlton Reserve has indicated positive sentiment.

Hong Kong property tzars team up for new Phang Nga development

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Car and house loans surged in 2018

The Thaiger



Car and house loans surged in 2018 | The Thaiger

The Bank of Thailand says they’re concerned about the double-digit growth in loans for cars last year. The central bank is now monitoring the trend and will keep track of statistics for the rest of 2019. Their concerns about the Thai mortgage market the year before resulted in new regulations coming into effect this April.

Loans for cars were up nearly 13% in 2019, up from 8% growth in 2017 and much smaller growths in the years before.

They reported that commercial bank auto loans rose to 1.07 trillion baht last year, a rise of 12.6% from the previous 12 months. Defaults on loans has also risen during 2018 but the BoT says the rate is still “manageable” at 1.66%.

The BoT says they will need to continually monitor the business of loans for cars for at least the rest of 2019.

Last year they put the spotlight on property mortgages. The study resulted in more stringent conditions for the loan-to-value ratio, especially for second or subsequent housing loans.

Mortgage lending expanded nearly 8% in 2018, compared to 5.5% in 2017. The more stringent requirements for housing mortgages comes into force on April 1 this year.

Generally, the loan sector for commercial banks rose by 6% last year, again a rise from the previous year where the rise was 4.4%.

But the BoT reports that the profitability of the banking sector remains in positive territory. Interest income is now the main source after the fee-based income of some banks, particularly fund transfer fees, declined.

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Kamala’s Twinpalms Montazure poised to welcome guests in July

The Thaiger



Kamala’s Twinpalms Montazure poised to welcome guests in July | The Thaiger

Set on the golden sands of Kamala Beach, Twinpalms MontAzure will welcome its first guests in July this year.

Already a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, the boutique beach hotel offers beautifully appointed Suites, Penthouses and Private Pool Suites.

Suites range in size from 70m2 to Penthouses with private pools and sea views boasting large living spaces of up to 300m2. Guests will also enjoy using a lap pool or an infinity pool offering views of the Andaman sea.

Twinpalms MontAzure will also launch its beachside restaurant and lounge, ‘Shimmer’, with uninterrupted sea views. Shimmer restaurant will serve vibrant and tasty food with an Asian focus, delicious and creative cocktails, and a great wine list, all served with the customary gusto and flair expected from the Twinpalms brand.

Olivier Gibaud, General Manager of Twinpalms Hotels & Resorts says, “With 15 years’ experience refining Twinpalms excellent service standard complemented by a luxurious dining and entertainment quality that sets itself apart from other destinations on the island, we are very excited to bring this knowledge to a new hotel”.

Designed by Martin Palleros, following the original Twinpalms concept and style, of utilising Phuket’s beautiful landscape, Martin has allowed the design to maximize the sea views from most of the Suites and areas within the buildings, whilst also ensuring the preservation of the views of the mountainside from other perspectives.

Resident Manager, Thipwimon Chatchavansilachai says, “For respect for our island location, we will launch with a ‘no single-use plastic’ policy, meaning alternatives to common plastic items such as straws, packages for bathroom amenities and water bottles will be replaced with materials such as bamboo, ceramic and recycled paper.”

“We will continuously find better alternatives in our hotel operations for the preservation of the environment”.

Naturally, guests of Twinpalms MontAzure also have access to the brand’s other dining destinations, taking full advantage of the three beaches Twinpalms has a presence: HQ Beach Lounge – a few steps away on Kamala Beach, Catch Beach Club, Catch Junior and Palm Seaside, located on Bang Tao Beach and the flagship resort, Twinpalms Phuket, is just a few steps from Surin Beach.

Kamala's Twinpalms Montazure poised to welcome guests in July | News by The Thaiger

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