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L&H project aims for mid-market
Saturday 12 March 2011, 05:01AM
Land & Houses Phuket has begun work on a new mid-range property development on Chao Fa West Rd, in a former rubber plantation opposite the Phuket Provincial Electricity Authority’s transformer station. The project – 88 Land & Houses Phuket – will cover 14.4 rai and contain 48 two-story homes and a row of 15 three-storey home offices. For Land & Houses – which built Land & Houses Park in Chalong 15 years ago, on a 415-rai site containing 900 homes – the new project is relatively small. But all the homes will be completed before any are sold, said LH Muang Mai Managing Director Pittaya Tantipiriyakij. The new project has attractions for believers in Chinese numerology, in which the number 88 is particularly significant; it can signify either “infinity” or “riches”. All the houses will have numbers beginning with 88. The homes are designed in “tropical serenity” style, each with internal space ranging from 144 to 200 square metres. Land plots will range from 60 to 100 square wah. All the homes will have three bedrooms and three bathrooms, and the two largest types will also have an office on the ground floor that can be converted into an extra bedroom. Close to the road, a row of 15 three-story buildings are designed for buyers who want to have their office and home in the same place. Prices range from B5.7 million upwards for the hous­es and B7.35 million upwards for the home offices. All units will be completed by 2012. Mr Pittaya said that the company still has great confidence in Phuket’s property market and is now planning more projects. “From the feedback we’ve been getting from both Thais and foreigners, we can see that Phuket’s real estate is still on an upward trend, so we will continue to quality homes, both in Phuket and in other parts of southern Thailand,” he said. “We own two more parcels of land totalling 1,100 rai which await development. The first is a nice hilly 55-rai plot, also on Chao Fa West Rd, while the other covers 1,060 rai next to Mai Khao beach – it’s a good location that also contains a lake. “The company is now studying ways to develop this site. Once it is finished, we expect that it will be one of the most beautiful projects in Asia,” he added.
Kata Group expanding north of Phuket with beach hotel project
Friday 4 March 2011, 04:34AM
The Kata Group plans to invest more than B1.2 billion building a four-star hotel in Khaolak, Phang Nga. The new 153 room-hotel, Khaolak Cassaway Resort & Spa, will be built on a 67 rai property at Pak Weep beach. The Kata Group already operates three four-star hotels in Phuket, including the Phuket Orchid Resort & Spa, Kata Beach Resort & Spa, Karon Beach Resort & Spa and a four-star hotel in Samui, Surat Thani Province, the Kandaburi Resort & Spa. Its latest project was announced at a signing ceremony involving the Kasikorn Bank (Kbank) and Kata Group at the Kata Beach Resort and Spa. Kbank Executive Vice President Krissada Lamsam and Kata Group Managing Director Pamuke Atchariyachai revealed details of the project. It will comprise of 148 units of duplex bungalows, three units of one bedroom bungalows, and two units of two-bedroom bungalows in a contemporary architecture style combining southern Thai style with modern design. Mr Pamuke said that of the 1.2 billion baht investment, 470 million baht was supported by Kbank. “Our decision to expand our investment to Khaolak is because we have our own land at Pak Weep beach where many five-star hotels are located. “This gives us confidence to that it is a good location where high potential tourists are coming. The project is divided into two phases and they are being constructed about the same time. “Apart from the rooms in villa styles, we will also have a Thai restaurant, a seafood restaurant along the beach, an Italian restaurant, and the spa. “We expect that the first phase of our project can be opened by this coming November, while we are waiting to decide on the style of room style to be constructed for the second phase. “If the villa style is popular we will build 250 villas in phase two,” he said. Mr Pamuke said Kata Group’s main customers are still European and Scandinavian.
Housing developer shows confidence
Friday 4 March 2011, 04:22AM
Phang-nga puts the brakes on ‘Greater Phuket’
Friday 4 March 2011, 04:11AM
Phang-nga Province has introduced stringent zoning aimed at curbing what locals there see as out-of-control development in Phuket, a Bangkok-based lawyer told a seminar organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in Phuket on Friday. Anurag Ramanat, a partner in the South Asia Law Co, explained, “Phang-nga people think they don't want Phang-nga to be ‘spoiled’ like Phuket.” Already, for several years, developers have been moving into “Greater Phuket” – southern Phang-nga – in search of beachfront plots or cheaper land. “Whatever happens in Phuket will move to Phang-nga,” said Mr Anurag, and much of the new zoning regulations appear to be aimed at containing this. For a start, about 70 per cent of Phang-nga is now branded for “rural or agriculture” use. This is broken into smaller areas, in each of which only 20 per cent may be occupied by structures. No home of less than 400 square metres may be built, and 40 per cent of any land parcel must be given over to green area, landscaped or otherwise. Row houses, townhouses, condominiums and apartment buildings are effectively barred, as are shopping complexes – only shops of less than 400 square metres may be built. Along the much coveted beaches, the first 30 metres from the shoreline is designated as “recreational or conservation” area. It may be landscaped, but that’s all, and building heights and built-up areas behind that strip are strictly limited. “There are many restrictions [across the province] in terms of development,” Mr Anurag said. “It’s limiting for hotels, though housing is easier, albeit with a lot of green area.” Two other lawyers, Sorachong Boonsong and Kammalard Urapeepatanapong from Baker & McKenzie reviewed recent changes to zoning regulations as they apply to Phuket. A complex system imposed seven months ago, they explained, stipulate buildings heights and green space for nine different types of zone, and stricter regulations for building on slopes. Mr Sorachong noted that the biggest impact is on outlying islands, which are almost all designated Zone 1. Here, structures may now be no more than six metres high and must be set back at least 20 metres from the mean high tide mark. In addition, 75 per cent of any plot in Zone 1 must be given over to green area. He also highlighted two areas of vagueness that will inevitably result in local “interpretation”: the definition of “Sino-Portuguese” structures in Zone 4 (Phuket Town). The required green area around such buildings is smaller than for other buildings in the zone. Slope regulations stipulate that mandatory free space must be planted with “local trees” but what kind of trees these may be is not defined in the regulations. Mr Kammalard noted that developments that already have local authority contsruction permits are not subject to the new regulations, but warned that developers must ensure that their permitdoes not expire. An approved environmental impact assessment is not enough, nor is a “39bis permit”, even though this allows construction work to begin. Finally, he noted that Phuket’s current town planning law will expire soon, and a new one may be introduced any day.