Manassanan Nararattanawee, CEO of developer Kata Beach Co Ltd, went public yesterday (Feb 2) to explain that some buyers had agreed to have their monies transferred to take units at another project at Surin Beach.
He also said that he would appeal the decision by the Supreme Administrative Court, which last month upheld previous rulings by lower Administrative Courts in confirming that the land document presented for the project was illegally issued.
Mr Manassanan said that construction of what he called a “B2.1 billion project” had been suspended since the Supreme Administrative Court ruling to revoke the land document.
Of note, the project was designed to feature 435 units, with starting prices of B5.5 million apiece, giving the completed project a base value of B2.39bn. Previous estimates of the completed and sold-out project were tabled at around B30 billion.
Mr Manassanan did not confirm that any action had been taken to comply with the court order to begin demolishing the construction that has already been completed.
The Supreme Administrative Court ruling was handed down on Dec 17. The Peaks owners were given 30 days to comply.
Regardless, Mr Manassanan told a press conference that he called yesterday, “Our company accepted the decision of the Supreme Administrative Court to revoke the land document, a NorSor 3 Kor [land-use document], and no longer have the right of this land since the order was issued.
“There are a few main issues; that company will be taking care of the customers, agents and the people of Phuket, as well as all other relevant people involved in this project, the order to revoke the land document and for the construction to be demolished, and the land owner will appeal to the Administrative Court to consider this case again,” he said.
“Since the Administrative Court of Nakhon Sri Thammarat [in the first instance, in Aug 2017] ordered the revocation of the land document for the location of the project until the order has been issued by the Supreme Administrative Court, our company insists on taking care of our clients’ investment as best as possible,” he assured.
“The customer care is divided into three parts: customers who agree to transfer their funds to invest in another construction project of the company at Surin Beach, which is more secure” he explained.
“The land document for the project at Surin Beach has already been completed through the EIA and is currently under construction. It is a similar project and now there are about 180 customers agreeing to transfer. Also, 170 units [at The Peaks] are still being processed as customers have not informed their intention to move,” he added.
“More than 40 customers do not wish to move their investment to another project because they want to buy rooms at The Peaks condo project only. We have to wait and still have yet to confirm when the case will end” Mr Manassanan said.
“Customers who have not yet contacted the company are requested to contact the company, and customers who refuse to continue to invest with the project have the right to take legal action with the company, in this regard there are only a few cases,” he said.
“What the company can do now is to take good care of its clients’ investments, the main customer groups are Chinese, Russian, European and a few Thai people," Mr Manassanan said.
Mr Manassanan also noted, “The company is aware of the order to revoke the land document issued by Karon Municipality and the order for the company to demolish all building construction, all 435 rooms, within 30 days in order to restore the area after the Supreme Administrative Court revoked the right document.
“The company has already appealed to the court,” he said.
“The landowner will submit a further request for the Administrative Court to review the case again, and seek temporary protection on this plot of land, including the matters that the company must have to estimate how much the damaged assets are valued to claim against those who have contributed to the damage to the company. Therefore the company must appeal the order of the Karon Municipality,” Mr Manassanan explained.
Oddly, Mr Manassanan highlighted the impact the high-profile case of The Peaks has done to Phuket’s property industry.
"The damage to the company is not less than B1.2bn, but this does not compare with the damage to other real estate business in Phuket, with a value of not less than B10-20bn per year,” he said.
“This case of land has really caught the public’s attention. There are many people involved in the case. The evidence issued by a government agency could not verify the legal acquisition, causing damage to the image of real-estate investment industry across Phuket, with foreign investors uncertain in their decision to invest in Phuket” Mr Manassanan said.
“This affects the overall investment image across the island, which has no less than 30 projects, an investment value more than B10-20bn per year,” he repeated.
“Therefore, we would like to speak to all relevant parties to each take a step back, which the company has been doing.
“Since the Supreme Administrative Court revoked the land document, we have stopped the construction and taken good care of our customers to restore the image of investing in Phuket,” Mr Manasanan said.