Banana Disco owners launch shopping centre
Patong Beach Hotel Phuket Ltd, owners of the Patong Hotel and Banana Disco, today revealed ambitious plans for a new shopping complex on a 4,500-sqm land plot on the beach road in Patong, aimed squarely at tourists.
Tuesday 11 October 2011, 03:47PM
Construction crews broke ground last week on the project, which is scheduled to open in May next year. The three-floor Banana Walk, 100 metres from Soi Bangla, will feature a “modern, tropical” design concept which, claims Smith Obayawat, the project’s architect, will help to change to the face of street-shopping on Patong Beach.
The complex aims to allow visitors to “eat, shop and party”. It will have around 30 boutique retail outlets, five restaurants and rooftop nightclubs. The final building design will depend on the space requirements and design ideas of the new tenants.
“With Banana Walk we have designed architecture to create a shopping experience that’s a complete departure from the typical Thai neighborhood or community malls,” sais Mr Smith, founder of The Office of Bangkok Architects (OBA), one of Bangkok’s leading Architects.
“This is a very special location so we need to remember that more is not always necessarily better.”
“We believe street level mall design in Thailand needs to allow for more freedom of movement and flow for these types of spaces,” he explained. “We’ve done that with Banana Walk with low density designs that provide ample outdoor lounge areas where travellers can mingle and gaze at the shops and restaurants that semi-surround them.
“It also makes common sense that when you have a lovely beachfront setting like Banana Walk that every living space in the complex faces the waterfront.”
Banana Walk’s architectural design has a natural approach featuring stone, wood, glass and bamboo. Special design elements also create a less air-conditioned environment for Banana Walk by using natural ventilation in common lounge areas. The exterior design uses extensive sun and rain shielding with natural materials to protect the glass and exposed areas from the elements.
Nick Anthony, Managing Director of Indigo Real Estate, the Banana Walk leasing agent, said, “The fresh design approach and the prime location of Banana Walk are attracting some interesting retailers to Patong,” says Nick Anthony.
“If you’re a retailer or restaurant operator looking to expand into Thailand, Patong is a market that can’t be overlooked as its popularity continues to grow. This section of Patong where Banana Walk is located gets an average of over 5,000+ people each day who walk by, and almost 1,000 people an hour in the evening.”
The new centre should appeal to the shopping desires of one of Phuket’s fastest-growing markets – mainland China.
According to research conducted by C9 Hotelworks, the region’s leading hotel and real estate consultants, mainland China tourists were the top travel producers for the first half of 2011, growing 103% compared to 2010. China holds the number one spot providing 13% of the source market, Russia is second with 12%. South Korean visits also rose 30% over the first six months of last year.
The developers of Banana Walk stress that they will follow sustainable retail practices, banning plastic bags and all Styrofoam products and supporting a strong recycling program and efficient energy usage system.
Banana Walk is configured for half core retail space and half for food and beverage outlets. The anchor food and beverage outlet will be Baitong Seafood, which is owned by the Banana Walk developers.
The complex is separated into three blocks, each with three floors and a roof top area facing the inner courtyard and beach. Quality retailers are being invited to be represented in Banana Walk, which the developers predict will become a new destination for shopping on Phuket for both locals and tourists.
The project website is at bananawalkphuket.com