Cheered on by area residents and business owners, Banglamung District workers backed by 50 police officers began dismantling the extension Nov. 26. The demolition was a victory for Pattaya officials exasperated with owner Alongkorn Saewang’s brazen defiance of piles of city stop-work orders and a string of broken promises.
Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay leads the demolition team in taking apart the illegal structure.
Owned by Jomtien Holiday Inn Co., which is managed by Alongkorn, the Boutique was found in mid-2012 to have added four floors to its permitted seven without permit or inspection. Additionally, the company started building a second tower, leaving less than the required six meters between structures, a violation of city building and fire codes.
The Building Control Office ordered work stopped on the new building and prohibited use of the illegal floors in existing hotel. Both orders went unheeded, as did a second stop-work order issued a month later.
On Jan. 30, the city Engineering Office condemned the building, ordering Jomtien Holiday Inn to demolish the structure within 60 days. Not only was that order ignored, but construction continued as before. In July, Pattaya City Hall went to court to force the demolition, which finally was scheduled for Nov. 11.
But, as he’d done repeatedly during the conflict, Alongkarn begged the city to hold off, promising to demolish the building himself within a week. Two weeks later, nothing had been done. This time Pattaya officials called in backup from Banglamung to get the job done.
Demolition of the Boutique, however, only marks the start of Alongkarn’s battles with the city. District Chief Sakchai Taengho said 11 other properties under his control are believed to have violated city codes as well.
“If further offenses are found, they will be dealt with as well,” he vowed.
Pattaya Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay said the city is monitoring other buildings in the Jomtien Holiday Inn group, promising to regularly conduct inspections and enforce the law.