Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The White Elephant Of Jomtien Complex

Although real chang phueak (white elephants) are rare and highly prized creatures in Thailand (many times presented to the king as a ceremonial gift and then released) the large building on one corner of Jomtien Complex on the Southern side of Pattaya is a white elephant more along the lines of the US phrase, meaning something no longer wanted and often difficult to get rid of.

Jomtien Complex sits near the Southern curved end of Thep Phraya Road, the road you'd ride along on a baht bus to get from Pattaya itself to the Jomtien area. The Poseidon Hotel sits at the pointed top of that grouping of dark grey roofs over the complex.

I've seen this building under construction for years; worked on in fits and starts, now looking as though the base work is completed but still a l-o-n-g ways from being finished - especially by Thai construction timetables, if there actually is such a thing. As you can see, it makes a big footprint on the complex in the adjusted satellite image below. I put a green "x" on the structure's ample rooftop.

There have been rumors about the place over time; Tesco-Lotus, Friendship Market, Tops Market - all have been talked about, but that seems to be as far as it's gone. There's a rental office on the ground level to the far right, but that's about it. As you can see from the panorama picture up top today, it's almost completely vacant. Almost, other than an art dealer and the odd stall set up at street level on the corner at the far left in the photo.

My guess is that the other "Nightlife" establishments have been an impediment to finding a keystone store to take the space, but it is Thailand - so who knows? The continual additions to the area high rise by high rise may well create enough of a marketable demand to make it a desirable location.


Shameless Mack said...

Aren't the upper floors supposed to be a parking garage for the other units of Jomtien Complex? If so, that leaves only the ground floor to be rented out, which, as you say, they've not been successful at doing.
Of course the landlord could also have divided up the space into smaller units for letting out. . .

khunbaobao said...

I hadn't heard that, but it might well be helpful for those in the area - that'd be a lot of parking. I'd wondered if it were condos with balconies above, as I couldn't see up there. Next time I'll go into the management office and ask like I probably ought to have done last month! I didn't walk down towards "Antz" restaurant but I'd guess that would be where the parking entrance would be? Can someone more familiar with it clear this up?

Anonymous said...

Was supposed to be an anchor shop, and the parking was for that shop yes, but the Jomtien Complex management never got the area off the ground after the 1997 crisis.

khunbaobao said...

Thanks for that input - I'd wondered if the 1997 mess had also had an effect on this location.

Eventually it's probably going to be a nice center.