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Return of the giants - Northpoint Condominium, W Tower Wong-Amat Beach, Reflection, The Cliff Cosy Beach, The View.

It might seem that some of them have been 'sleeping', but several of the hi-rise condominiums are now very much awake and that bodes well for a return of confidence in the Pattaya property market.

In 2008, given all the publicity and the apparently feverish construction activity, Pattaya folk began to think that nothing would so epitomize the modern face of Pattaya as the multitude of hi-rise condominiums which had begun to thrust heavenward; so much so that the resort-city was being hailed as a mini-Bangkok.

One of the major developers of these mega high-rises, Raimon Land's then CEO, Nigel Cornick, declared: "Dynamic economic growth along Thailand's Eastern Seaboard is fuelling the luxury property market in Pattaya and driving its development as a high-end lifestyle destination." This was in the halcyon days that witnessed the phenomenal 440 per cent growth from 2004-7 of condos in the city.

Previously, there had been a flurry of development in the 1990s when the first phase of high-rises were built, starting with Jomtien Metro (44 storeys). In all, nine high-rises were built from 1988 to 1997, which still command the skylines of the Jomtien Beach Road and Wong-Amat Beach, including the still much sought after Saranchol (37 storeys) in 1994.

However, the new phase of mega-condos, some double and even triple the size of the pioneers, set new benchmarks in size, innovation and daringness of design. These were considerably more expensive, with superior facilities and amenities, which began to appear in 2007, at least on paper, and glossy CGIs (computer generated images) began to present themselves on mega-billboards, towering over the central reservation of Sukhumvit Road, at prominent road junctions and in virtually every real estate agent's windows, so much so that one was completely taken in by their virtual reality; in all senses of the phrase.

No mundane appellation for these super luxury high-rises, though, they were called flamboyant names like the Sails (39 storeys), the Spinnaker (42 storeys), Waterfront (54 storeys), Northpoint (54 storeys), La Royale (34 storeys), Ocean Portofino (37 storeys), Reflection (54 storeys), W Tower (38 storeys), and last but certainly not least, the gigantic Ocean 1 Tower (91 storeys). Not satisfied with overwhelming our visual senses, the spin-merchants aroused dreams of collosal capital gains, most notably the Northshore resale which attained 80 per cent (Btl 80,000 psm) in January, 2008.

The city was floating on cloud nine - then came the crunch, the economic tsunami which swept away these dreams with callous abandon. And most significantly, the majority of the developers of these mega-condos had to abandon their grandiose plans and put their dream-palaces in the sky on hold. Of the aforementioned, Ocean Portofino was virtually the only one to be almost finished in March 2008, essentially before the economic downturn began to bite, closely followed by La Royale.

Northpoint Condominium, Wong-Amat Beach.

Absolute beachfront living with an exceptional mix of 376 units, emphasising design, function and quality finishes. The options include studios, one, two, three bedrooms units and penthouses, ranging in size from 50 to 800 m2. The starting price is now Bt 8.3 million, but had you had sufficient faith to buy off-plan in May of 2008, when I first started to write about Northpoint, you could have acquired the same unit for Bt 4.5 million; quite some capital appreciation, what? At that time I was told by the then VP of Sales (Pattaya) Jonathan Atkins: "It would have been possible to construct more than three times as many units on a site of this size, however, we have opted to provide buyers with an element of exclusivity, privacy and space." He added: "The appeal of Northpoint is the prospect of a quality product, impeccably designed in a fantastic location. Northpoint is one of the few projects in Pattaya which can offer absolute beachfront living in a secure environment with considerable thought given to the liveability' of the design. Raimon Land only use top quality materials, designers, architects and contractors, which is reflected in the quality of the finished product."

Just to give you a taste of the amenities you could enjoy here they include 80-metre beach frontage and landscaped gardens; 50-metre lap pool, leisure pool, tennis courts, fun pool, playground and jungle water-slide; multi-tiered sun and shade deck; state-of-the-art fitness centre; Sky Gardens on the 29th floor of the South Tower and the 24th Floor of the North Tower, each providing a 15-metre lap pool and fitness centre; advanced access security control with card access to building and elevators, CCTV monitoring and recording.

See 1 bedroom 100 sq.m. condo for sale in Northpoint Condominium, Wong-Amat Beach.

W Tower Wong-Amat Beach.

This is a benchmark property of ultra-contemporary, Lifestyle design in an area of exclusive properties being developed by Heights Holdings and designed and being built by the acclaimed, highly innovative international architect-designer, Mario Kleff, CEO of the Wandeegroup. Says Mario: "The building will be a glass-skinned building that will reflect the sea and sky and offer residents unparalleled views of Pattaya and Naklua bays, the islands and beyond. "It will seem as if they have a window on the world. Duplex units are popular and we have decided to make the penthouse units all duplex with private elevators and roof-top pools." Mario treats a building as though it were a sculpture, putting equal stress on form and function. He believes in strictly adhering to budget, while simultaneously being efficient and innovative, utilising new construction methods, new technologies especially the mammoth cellular beams to reduce the cost of construction, without compromising quality or safety, yet simultaneously giving each apartment the maximum amount of space possible.

Translucency is his watchword, the columns seemingly disappearing as the glass-fronted sides of his buildings predominate over steel. He is also fundamentally committed and bound by the universal template, the Golden Mean, based on the ratio 1:1.618 employed in all the colossi of antiquity from the great pyramid of Cheops to the Parthenon, which exerts a subtle, psychological effect imparting the feel-good factor to all that come within its influence.

W Tower's 38 storeys, on 1.5 rai, with 400 units, priced from Bt4,184,000 -11,319,750, features studios: (35-45m2), duplex 1 bedroom (60-80m2), 2 bedrooms (95m2) and two duplex penthouses with glass roofs. All apartments are offset, guaranteeing sea views, with privacy, 4m-high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows.

Amenities include a fitness centre, sauna, two pools, beauty salon, spa, concierge service, coffee shop, private beach access, restaurant, laundry, and covered parking, with 24-hour security with key card access and CCTV.The gardens will feature tropical-style landscaping; lavish water features and a roof­top relaxation area. W Tower also features the most unique show-suite ever seen in Pattaya.

See 41 sq.m studio for sale in W Tower Wong-Amat Beach.

Reflection - Pattaya's new beachfront super luxury hi-rise residence.

Major Development PLC's ambitious new project, Reflection, is set to raise the benchmarks of the mega-condos in the city, with its unique, iconic architectural design, featuring two super luxury, hi-rise residential buildings: Oceanfront Tower of 55 storeys and Oceanview Tower of 42 storeys, on a plot of 89 Rai (13.156 m2). The two buildings with 102 and 230 units, respectively, are designated 'Super Luxury', Oceanview being of 5-star quality, while Oceanfront is asserted to be 6-star. The apartments consist of 6 types of units:! bedroom (58-60m2), 2 bedroom (99-110 m2), 2 bedroom duplex (96 m2), 3 bedroom (205 m2), 3 bedroom duplex (181-202 m2), and penthouse (179-340 m2) at a price of Btl00,000 psm, however there is a special off-plan price currently starting at Bt4.9 million.

The facilities, as you might expect, are of lavish specification to provide what the developers describe as the "Ultimate Beachfront Living Experience". Both towers have exclusive rooftop swimming pools and sky gardens, the one on Oceanfront affording panoramic sea-views. All the units have floor-to-ceiling windows and those facing Jomtien Bay will also be provided with superlative vistas of the sea and sky for their individual occupants. All units have private balconies, each duplex unit in Oceanview Tower also has private sky gardens and every penthouse unit comes with its own individual swimming pool and garden. There is also the option of a Jacuzzi to be situated on the balconies. In Oceanfront Tower, there is a 'moon roof corner window for each unit, with a sky sun lounge, sky garden & sky BBQ terrace in each tower.

Fitness appears to be the theme of Reflection with its two separate fitness centres, one for each tower, with state-of-the-art equipment, separate male and female steam and sauna rooms, level grass jogging trail, outdoor putting green and also bubble-jet spa and ozone system spa pavilion.

The water features incorporate novel attractions like the floating cigar lounge and terrace, floating private cabana, and in-water sun loungers and the Aquatic Playground, superbly equipped with water cave, water tunnel and water slider, and the aquatic maze water wall. Ultimate security is provided by the latest technology and highly secured public areas.

See 205 sq.m 3-bedroom condo for sale in Reflection.

The Cliff Cosy Beach.

The Nova Group's latest offering is a 27-storey hi-rise located in the heart of Cosy Beach that incorporates more than 50 per cent green area. The location affords panoramic views over Pattaya and Jomtien Bays and the outlying islands. There are 426 units, ranging from 37m2 studios to 102m2 2-bedroom units, 'all tastefully designed In tranquil earth pastel shades' the sales literature tells us, and all include luxury bathrooms and kitchens as standard.

Currently, the 46.5 m2 apartments are the only ones available atBt3,952,500. The amenities include a large pool with waterfall and a water-slide, underground parking, a gym and a gourmet restaurant as well as 24-hour security.

See 37 sq.m studio for sale in The Cliff Cosy Beach.

The View - Cosy Beach.

Once again located in the vicinity of Cosy Beach, giving excellent views over Pattaya and Jomtien Bays and the offshore islands, this is a new condominium by Matrix. This ultra-modern designed 20-storey high-rise contains 122 luxury, one- and two-bedroom apartments in seven different styles, starting at Btl.69 million, all of which include built-in kitchens and a wardrobe in the bedroom. Facilities include a 20th floor roof-top infinity-edge pool and relaxation area, which also incorporates a cafe style roof bar, whilst on the 19th floor there is the fully equipped fitness suite.

From Real Estate magazine Thailand issue 109 June 2010

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