Demolition of Boutique Hotel begins … again

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More than two years after city officials began demolishing an illegally modified South Pattaya hotel, the work began again in earnest.

Demolition is set to continue on the illegally built Boutique Hotel on Soi VC.
Demolition is set to continue on the illegally built Boutique Hotel on Soi VC.

Contractor Tyranno Co., hired by city hall on a 2.9-million-baht contract, deployed backhoes, cranes and workers to begin dismantling the 13-story Boutique Hotel on Soi VC, which has defied building codes and demolition orders since 2012.

People would be forgiven for wondering how the Boutique remained standing, as Pattaya city officials accompanied by soldiers descended on the property with great fanfare in April 2015 to “demolish” the top six floors of the building. Jomtien Holiday Co. was supposed to have been billed for their removal of the illegal stories.

The rooms in the entire hotel were made unusable, with gaping holes knocked into their outer walls, but that’s where the destruction stopped.

The Boutique drama began in 2012 when Jomtien Holiday Managing Director Alongkorn Saewang started building a seven-story hotel annex on Soi VC. He never obtained any permits for the building and the city issued two stop-work orders, which were simply ignored.

In January 2013, the Engineering Department condemned both buildings of the hotel, ordering Jomtien Holiday Inn to demolish the annex within 60 days. Not only was that order ignored, but construction continued as before.

In July 2013, exasperated Pattaya officials investigating complaints of wastewater releases discovered work was still proceeding on the condemned building. They ordered city workers to demolish the structure, but gave in to Alongkorn’s pleas for time to do the work himself. Ninety days was given, and wasted.

In November that year, the city lost patience and sent workers to demolish the structure. Cheered on by area residents and business owners, Banglamung District workers backed by 50 police officers began dismantling the Boutique annex room by room.

In May 2014, city officials took aim at the illegal floors added to the main building, which was permitted as five floors, built up to seven floors and then extended to 13.

Then-Banglamung District Chief Sakchai Taengho and then-Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh led a team of city engineers in an inspection of the hotel. In July 2014, Chonburi Gov. Khomsan Ekachai joined Pattaya’s then-police chief in arresting Alongkorn for ignoring years of government orders and building without permits.