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  1. #1
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    $10 million for a flat in Bangkok?

    Coming soon: $10 million for a flat in Bangkok?

    By Simon Osborne | 14 September 2007

    The soon-to-be-launched Sukhothai Residences will be Bangkok’s most expensive condominium development.If you’re a hedge fund manager or an investment banker whose chances of getting a fat annual bonus outweigh the chances of getting a credit crunch retrenchment, you might like to consider splashing out on a flat in the Sukhothai Residences, due for completion in 2010.

    The development is about to be launched in the Sathorn road area of Bangkok, adjacent to the Sukhothai Hotel, a swanky five-star hotel whose suites are beloved of visiting investment bankers.

    Staying at the Sukhothai hotel has long been regarded as a sybaritic experience by bankers, and worth making an excuse to go on a not-entirely-necessary business trip to Bangkok. It prompted one head of global credit at an investment bank visiting from New York to enthuse, “Just on the basis of having stayed at the Sukhothai, I wouldn’t be averse to our buying a few hotels here.”

    Although she left the firm shortly after, that same Wall Street company did amass a portfolio of Bangkok hotels, though less fancy ones in which their bankers would probably be loathe to stay, largely located in the naughty nightlife district of Sukhumvit Road and far from the imperial serenity of the Sukhothai’s Khmer bas-reliefs.

    The selling agents for the Sukhothai Residences have not formally revealed themselves yet, but an employee at Bangkok’s leading property agency said that the flats would start at around 120 square metres in size and go up to 1000 square metres for the penthouse.

    It is understood though that the prices for this 40-floor honey-trap will start at $6,000 per square metre. “That’s ridiculous, it’s at Hong Kong prices,” says one member of Hong Kong’s alternative investment community who has a hankering to spend his twilight, incontinent years in Bangkok.

    The rumour mill in Bangkok is in full swing. Benjaporn Chatkaew, director of sales and marketing at rival high-rise Le Raffine, says, “I understand prices start at Bt200,000 there, but go up as high as Bt400,000 ($12,000)". Le Raffine is a recently completed development into which Hong Kong’s hedgies are known to have bought million dollar palatial duplexes. Prices in top condo developments in Bangkok cap out at about Bt150,000 per square metre at present, so the Sukhothai will set a new upper benchmark.

    “$12,000 per square metre is outrageous, this is what you get in a very well located district in Paris, and even in the Champs Elysees,” says Parisian Richard Bigg of Star Research in Bangkok. “Which one would you chose if you had the money? Residing in Paris or in noisy Bangkok near the dump?”

    It is true that when you emerge from your Bangkok castle in the clouds, you are confronted with a Krungthep sidewalk festooned with power cables, steel bars from low-hanging shop fronts and enormous potholes in which Bangkok toddlers drown during the rainy season when they flood with water. Death from above and death from below. Even directly outside the Sukhothai hotel are unlit canals into which luckless foreigners have fallen (including this correspondent).

    There are a lot of foreigners with fat wallets when it comes to shelling out on posh Thai property. Assuming though that the 1,000-metre penthouse is going to be priced at the upper end of the range speculated, then you are going to be digging deep for your new apartment.
    Copyright AsianInvestor.net, a subsidiary of Haymarket
    http://www.asianinvestor.net/article.aspx?CIaNID=61123
    Last edited by William; 14-09-2007 at 10:45 AM.

  2. #2
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    excellent, will be looking into that as a sound investment....

    NOT.

  3. #3
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    William , if your Simon I'll be upset ,

    if your not then Simon is going to be upset .................

  4. #4
    I am in Jail
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    I was invited by CBRE into a VIP lounge in Paragon for their new project in HuaHin. Cheap beach house for only 150 million THB.

    Should I bother to go ?

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat
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    ^you've obviously got the cash, otherwise you wouldn't have got the invite

  6. #6
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    ^ hardly, I was visiting the expensive Baan Taley in Pattaya (50 Million THB home) and the very cute sales girl asked me for my address and phone numbers. I thought she wanted a date

  7. #7
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    ^that'll teach you

    Actually reminds me of the days when the British Chamber of Commerce had their drinks at the Embassy bar. All these girls would give me their cards and I thought they wanted to go on dates. Only later I found out they were trying to sell hotel package deals

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    Money Laundering ... anybody?

  9. #9
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    The Ghost Of The Moog's Avatar
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    I think the girls at Chamber functions are all fair game. Yes they have to try and sell you their furniture removals service or time share in order to reclaim their THB 1000 entry fee from their employer, but their true motives vis a vis jiggyjiggy are beyond doubt.

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    The Sukothai is really nice though, and well located.

    The Peninsula is supposed to be better but not as conveniently located as the Sukothai. I suspect those investment bankers to go to the Sukhothai because it's only within walking distance to the bars in Patpong, those dirty lot.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by William
    Only later I found out they were trying to sell hotel package deals
    you mean "timeshare" ? that said, you could still bag them for sure, and give them their commissions without committing to the expensive timeshare deal.

  12. #12
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    ^I later found out most go to the Dubliner - much better environment for a business chat

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    Quote Originally Posted by William View Post
    ^that'll teach you

    Actually reminds me of the days when the British Chamber of Commerce had their drinks at the Embassy bar. All these girls would give me their cards and I thought they wanted to go on dates. Only later I found out they were trying to sell hotel package deals

    au contaire mon ami,

    i tended to do very well out of the chambers of commerce nights...

  14. #14
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    I can't understand anyone paying more than a couple of million baht for a pad in Bangkok.

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    Does the apartment come with free gas masks?

  16. #16
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    Interesting article in the SmartEdition version of the BangkokPost

    GHOSTS OF THE CRASH OF ’97
    Few developers are willing to breathe life into old buildings left abandoned
    Story by ANCHALEE KONGRUT

    Abandoned for a decade, Sathon Unique resembles the home of a lost civilisation, not the upscale condominium it was supposed to be.


    Banyan trees surround it. Ancient Greek-style columns are now littered with graffiti — one column features an alien image and another a drawing of the Hindu god Ganesh.


    The area designated as a lobby is dark and the only sign of a blessing is a statue of Phra Siam Dhevatirat, sacred guardian for Thais, near the entrance.

    ‘‘There should have been two statues guarding the entrance doors as a sign of a blessing. But the economic crisis in 1997 disrupted construction. The developer abandoned the site before bringing in the second statue,’’ said Suthep Karnjana, 37, who guards the 49-storey building.

    No one knows when the building, which is in a prime location opposite Taksin
    skytrain station, will be redeveloped. Interested investors have dropped by to have a look but nothing has happened, said Mr Suthep, who has worked at the site for over seven years.

    Despite his efforts, thieves have made off with construction parts and decoration items. They also broke all the windows. About 600 toilets on the upper floors were looted. All electric wires and steel cables were stolen, too.

    Many abandoned projects encounter a similar fate as thieves loot the sites, stealing precious construction items.

    Sathon Unique is among the 508 buildings abandoned by developers following the 1997 economic crisis. The projects were taken over by the Financial Sector Restructuring Authority (FRA) — the state debt restructuring arm, which auctioned them to financial institutions at cheap prices.

    Sathon Unique was auctioned at 70 million baht while the real value of the project was put at 1.8 billion baht, said Rangsan Torsuwan, original developer of the project.

    Many unfinished buildings have been left untouched even after the economy picked up. Of the total 508 unfinished buildings, only 380 were re-developed while the remaining 128 in 76 projects still have an uncertain future which has raised public fears about the safety of abandoned structures.

    In most cases, new owners keep these buildings in the hope the price will go up. An investigation of auction fraud allegedly committed by FRA executives gave some hope to the original developers, including Mr Rangsan, who took cases to court, hoping that it would intervene and allow them to buy back their assets. However, any court cases are likely to be lengthy.

    Structural tests conducted on abandoned buildings by engineers led by Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai, dean of the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT)’s School of Civil Engineering, indicated that most structures are in sound condition and will not collapse. ‘‘Buildings will not fall down just because nobody uses them,’’ said Mr Worsak.

    The only factors that can make them tumble down is poor design and overload. Despite their sad appearance, these buildings can be re-developed, Mr Worsak said, adding the re-development cost accounts for 30% of the total value.

    Although the projects are deemed physically safe, the Bangkok Metropolitan
    Administration (BMA) has linked the 128 buildings to social problems. Three city districts with a high number of incomplete projects are Bang Kapi, Klong Toey, and Wattana districts.

    According to the BMA’s unpublished inspection report, some abandoned buildings have become crime scenes. A few years ago, the body of a two-monthold baby was found in an abandoned building. Some people took their own lives by jumping from the buildings. Debris such as construction materials fell from the buildings, posing a risk to surrounding communities.

    Trirat Jarutach, lecturer at Chulalongkorn University’s faculty of architecture who conducted research on the impact of abandoned buildings, said authorities should encourage their re-development.

    He recommended that the Finance Ministry buy the buildings and fine redevelopers or mediate negotiations between the original developers and new owners to speed up re-development.

    The BMA should consider allowing developers to complete construction work under the old town planning regulations. At present, re-development was difficult as developers are required to comply with the current town plan law which is more strict on building height and vacant spaces.

    Mr Trirat said state authorities paid little heed to his recommendations.

    During 2000-2005, there were 874 requests for construction permits. About 600 buildings have been built, but have low occupancy.

    ‘‘We already have over 100 unfinished buildings and now we are likely to get more. Should this trend continue, Bangkok will become a city of incomplete buildings — the relics of an economic crisis,’’ he said.

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    Abandoned Skyscraper – “Sathorn Unique” – Fifty Levels of Awesome Abandoned Building

    June 15, 2011



    Bangkok, Thailand. Just fourteen years ago, the Sathorn Unique skyscraper was being built, destined to become one of the city’s fanciest residential addresses. Now, it is an abandoned building. Never completed, it remains as yet another “ghost tower” of Bangkok. A tangle of trees and vines are beginning to take over the lighter parts of this monolith, such as the four storey archways and romanesque feature columns. Amazingly, this building is located in the central area of one of the worlds largest cities. These towers were built during the mid nineties, when the Thai economy was booming. In 1997, the Asian Financial Crisis changed all that. Developers stricken with debt were unable to finish many projects. In the case of Sathorn Unique, the main concrete structure made it all the way to the top. The apartment fit-outs had begun in earnest, with wooden floor boards installed and polished. Connected bathtubs, wardrobes, and electrics show just how close this one was to completion. At ground floor, two escalators have been installed, climbing to nowhere in particular, the remnants of protective plastic still clinging onto their stainless steel sides. With an amazing location close to the Chao Praya river that snakes it’s way through the center of Bangkok, it’s easy to see how this abandoned building would have been luxury living at it’s finest.

    After a tip off from some of the locals, a small climb got me into the lobby area. Inside, a man had set up a shrine, and was providing offerings to his God. Children who were playing around the outer area of the building had clearly been warned of the dangers inside. Although they were smiling, they were clearly fearful of the building, perhaps due to the ghost stories and other tales of fear their elders had instilled in them. For good reason too – this is a particularly dangerous site, with plenty of opportunities to take a 40+ level fall through one of the many unsealed shafts that exist, often in total darkness. Throw in a pack of wild dogs, some quite unusual smells and sounds, I quickly realised this abandoned building was not to be taken lightly.

    From the brochure: (conveniently, there was various sales materials still floating around the building):
    Sathorn Unique Tower is our first residential project in downtown Bangkok. The tower is 49 storey with the total of 659 residential units and 54 retails, located only less than 200 meters from BTS : Taksin station. Sathorn Unique Tower is also located at the edge of old commercial town of Charernkrung meets the new international business zone of Silom-Sathorn roads. It sits on the a horse-shoe blend which is considered as the best place for overlook at the Bangkok’s grand cityscape and the charm of the Chaopraya river.
    Bangkok probably has more abandoned buildings and modern day ruins than any other major city on earth. In the 14 years since the Asian Financial Crisis, the Thai economy has recovered, and many new gleaming skyscrapers have been built. Still, there remains a number of the abandoned ghost towers like Sathorn Unique. Earlier this same day, I scaled another forty storey building, an abandoned complex of three near-identical towers, with another abandoned building next door for good measure! Story and photos, coming soon.

    I wouldn’t recommend visting the inside of this abandoned tower. Truly, it is an incredibly dark and dangerous site. There are many holes for you to fall down a very, very, long way. Not to mention, the locals insist it is haunted (they were really quite insistent!). Of course, trespassing is illegal. However, it is an incredibly easy building to get to, and take a look around.

    Information for “Sathorn” Unique Abandoned Skyscraper, Bangkok:

    Getting there : Take the train to BTS Saphan Tak. The tower is located close to the cross road between Sathon Tai and Charoen Krung. Look up, you won’t miss it. Check the google map on this page…the pin is right on top of this abandoned skyscraper building.









































    "Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar

  18. #18
    Thailand Expat Hampsha's Avatar
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    If that building is salvageable the Thaksin should renovate it and offer intown housing for the poor under his million affordable homes project he ran before. All these buildings are eye-sores. Back in the states the owners are required to do something with them or they are sold off for the highest price to someone who will. You can't have things like this ruining the aesthics of the city. Bangkok has no city planning or zoning laws other than those related to the skytrains. What a waste these buildings are!

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    Most of the graffiti was in English. Foreign taggers or Thais emulating their Western counterparts?

    These pics would make a great addition to the abandoned places thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hampsha View Post
    You can't have things like this ruining the aesthics of the city.
    What aesthetics?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabian View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Hampsha View Post
    You can't have things like this ruining the aesthics of the city.
    What aesthetics?
    People! Open your eyes. Look at the view! You can see the roof of a temple! What?

  22. #22
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    Obviously this is a very old thread - but did the Sukhothai Residences ever complete and sell as envisaged (as a condo bldg)? I googled and it seems there are serviced apts, etc, with the same name and a hotel. (Don't confuse the pictures posted above as they are of a different incomplete building - from the 97 crash - and still incomplete).
    My mind is not for rent to any God or Government, There's no hope for your discontent - the changes are permanent!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    Obviously this is a very old thread - but did the Sukhothai Residences ever complete and sell as envisaged (as a condo bldg)? I googled and it seems there are serviced apts, etc, with the same name and a hotel. (Don't confuse the pictures posted above as they are of a different incomplete building - from the 97 crash - and still incomplete).

    I don;t think the units have been turned over to the owners yet, but it seems it very close.

    Here is a thread on skyscrapercity.com with an Oct 2011 update showing some interior shots.
    The Sukhothai Residences, 47 Storey : Sathorn - Page 33 - SkyscraperCity
    TH

  24. #24
    Thailand Expat SteveCM's Avatar
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    PAD found a novel use for the Sathorn Unique building during the 2011 election (wonder if they had permission from a PAD-friendly owner?)



    (Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

    Posted on June 17, 2011 by admin

    Abandoned Skyscraper

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