I decided to take the flavor of the month for a romantic meal earlier in the week, a friend had recently been to cabbages and condoms and had reminded me what a great restaurant it was, it was always one of my favorite places to eat but due to being mainly single a long time now I haven’t been there for a couple of years.
With Cabbages and condoms nothing has changed. The restaurant was as lovely as ever, the food was very nice and considering the location it was also very reasonable, the service also very good. I don’t think there is a better place in town to wine and dine someone you are trying to impress.
What has changed on Pratumnak Hill though is the colour, at least around the soi 4 area, it is quickly turning orange! With my history in buying real estate here, and having a few friends in the game I’d heard of new of New Nordic before but was always a little skeptical about the over ambitious plans. I never realised how big they were until my recent visit down the soi and from what I saw they are obviously getting things done and at an impressive rate. Kurt Svendeim (CEO of New Nordic) has certainly stuck to his promise and the area is indeed being developed as he said it would!
So, after a little research, curiosity got the better of me and the next day I decided to take a closer look around the soi 4 area on Pratumnak just to see how far they had come. I counted no less than 6 construction sites all with countless workers on them and there must be 20-30 buildings that are completed there. I popped into the sales office to dig a little deeper and was told that there is 34 completed buildings, 8 more under construction with 12 more scheduled to start in the next year or so they have got to the stage where over the next 2 years they will be completing a building every month. All this in a time where the real estate market is supposed to be in crisis!!!!
So what is their secret???
After my research and spending a bit of time in their office i now have a decent understanding of what the New Nordic group are up to. They actually have a few divisions to their company, they are a construction company, an accommodation service, a tour operator and a f&B business. When Kurt Svendeim (the big boss) came to Thailand 7 years ago he planned to add to the already existing Nordic buildings and create his own town, this raised lots of eyebrows locally and everyone including me was whispering under our breath that he would be gone very soon, how he is proving us all wrong.
With the change in the typical Pattaya tourist from the westerner that was staying a bit longer, renting a condo and drinking in the bars, a lot of businesses are struggling now, people are under the impression that tourism numbers are down, in fact the numbers are up. Pattaya has become a hot spot for Chinese tour groups, hence the coaches clogging up the streets to everyone’s frustration. These new tourists have very different behavioral habits and are herded around the tourist attractions and gold shops and aren’t spending much in the smaller local businesses. They also only stay here for 1 or 2 weeks maximum so stay in hotels and not condos. It turns out that New Nordic caters completely for this market as they run a hotel service and business is booming for them.
In a very hard time for lots of businesses in Pattaya it’s nice to see the city is still developing and I hope next year we start seeing other local businesses adapt to the needs of the new visitors and keep Pattaya growing.