Rapidly becoming one of Pattaya’s most active property developers in the past couple of years, the Porchland Group has recently unveiled plans for its unique Feelture condominium in Na Jomtien. Pattaya Mail Real Estate monthly recently tracked down the company’s General Manager, Chitsanucha Phakdeesaneha, to ask him about the developer’s latest projects and its plans for future expansion in Pattaya.
PM: Before becoming Porchland Group Pattaya, where did you start your business?
CP: Before Porchland Group started in Pattaya, we were primarily building contractors who undertook a lot of work for other developers’ projects in the city; whether it was Hyde Park, Park Lane, The View, Atlantis and many more. After gaining extensive experience doing construction for other companies, plus the fact that we had started to purchase our own land plots, it was a natural progression for us to redirect our efforts into real estate development.
PM: What were the company’s first projects in the city?
We started by building a 22-unit commercial property, which proved to be a hit, and we continued that momentum by purchasing more land and aggressively targeting the residential market, which led to more success in the form of projects such as Porchland 2 and 3. The Blue Residence was also another very successful endeavor and we were able to close sales of the whole 300 units in just over two months.
Porchland General Manager, Chitsanucha Phakdeesaneha.
From the positive response we received for The Blue Residence, we progressed by launching The Time, located behind Kasetsart University, Sriracha, followed by the La Santir project, located at Chaiyapruek 5 in Jomtien, the land for which we bought while working on Porchland 2.
PM: What do you feel Porchland Group offers to customers that has made the company so successful?
CP: Porchland’s success in its many developments can be put down to quality of the construction and materials used and also the uniqueness we offer in terms of interior designs, which are different from other projects on the market. We try to combine beauty with functionality, which is more than you would find in general offered by other developers at the same price-point.
When we were working on Porchland 2 we just constructed empty shells, with the customers able to obtain built-in packages later, but for The Blue Residence we provided all the built-in fixtures and fittings and almost everything required in a room.
An artist’s impression shows the completed La Santir development on Soi Chaiyapruek, Jomtien.
The response from out buyers was extremely positive. They were able to move in without having to add anything more; whether it be kitchen appliances, furniture, refrigerators, televisions, curtains etc. This is one other important unique feature of Porchland.
The Feelture show suite highlights the attractive all-inclusive furniture packages offered by Porchland.
Another important element in our success is the selling price. Apart from the other aforementioned benefits, we try to offer out projects at a price lower than market standard. We are able to achieve this by not focusing on and investing a large part of our capital on prime locations. With this cost saving we are able to offer units in our developments at extremely attractive prices.
PM: When the company was still working as a contractor, did it have its own design team?
CP: When we were contractors we worked with a few design teams, hired by the project developers, and as we had to work with designers hand in hand so to speak, we got to know each other quite well and we have worked with a few of them since on our own developments. Our first, second and third projects were by designers from Bangkok, but all subsequent developments have been designed by teams here in Pattaya.
PM: La Santir is another successful development of yours. Can you tell us a bit more about it and any other new projects?
CP: Yes, La Santir has proved to be very successful since its launch at the end of last year. We have sold more than 400 rooms from total of just over 500 and we are very happy about the way it has been received by buyers.
Our latest project is the Feelture condominium (Porchland 6) which has been launched for less than a month but has already sold over 130 units from the total 301. So we expect to have more than half the units sold in a little less than 2 months from launch.
Both La Santir and Feelture were released onto the market within a short timeframe of each other and with similar prices and concepts. The difference is the design of each project.
PM: How does the company decide on locations for its developments?
CP: Honestly, many people would look at the areas we build and think, ‘why are they building there?’ but we believe that the locations we choose are ones for the future. For example, the La Santir project is located where Jomtien Second Road ends. When it’s completed this will become a more developed and desired area, and it’s still less than 1km from Jomtien Beach.
Another project, The Feelture, is located around Na Jomtien Soi 4, which currently still resembles a bit of a jungle, i.e. not very developed, but when the link road to Sukhumvit that will pass through here is finished, this location will prosper rapidly.
PM: What does Porchland have on the drawing board for the near future?
After the Feelture condominium there are many other projects waiting for us, but the one that will be launched soon is The Crystal, located at the seaside in Bang Saray. This development will offer the feeling of a private beach, with no lounge chairs or umbrellas to destroy the view.
The majority of our past projects were low-rises, but with La Santir and The Crystal we are aiming to build higher. In the market place generally, the low rises, e.g. the eight-story condominiums, are easier to sell. The construction period is also less and they are easier to manage. Thus, we have focused more on low rises up to now.
We would maybe look at the luxury end of the market for future projects; possibly some boutique developments on smaller plots of land in prime areas where we can give even greater attention to customers’ needs.
PM: Porchland seem to offer great deals on their developments, what are the smallest sized units that you offer?
Currently the smallest units we offer are the studios at La Santir which are approx. 26sqm, but on average our standard spacing for studios is between 33-38sqm across the board.
We are finding that the size of units we offer is in line with customer requirements and many of the buyers in earlier Porchland projects have returned to buy units in our recently announced developments. Our low entry price points and inclusive fixtures and fittings package is proving to be very attractive to investors.
PM: Apart from the Pattaya property market, are you aiming to develop elsewhere?
We are currently looking at the Rayong area as this has a smaller real estate market and what the city has, regarding designs and decoration etc., is not as beautiful as it could be. In addition, the selling prices are pretty high and the demand is there as the city is surrounded by large industries with workers requiring good places to live.
PM: And finally, what are your visions for Pattaya in the next 5 years?
In reality Pattaya is already quite far along the road of property development and in another five years the city will be even more so. Demand is set to increase as more and more people move to the city, either to work here or possibly to escape the fear of future flood disaster in other areas, including Bangkok.
Another major development would be the high speed train link from Suvarnabumi Airport to Pattaya, which is something the city mayor is pushing for. We also expect to see a gradual increase in the quality of infrastructure, utilities and public services in Pattaya and we believe, when you put all this together, the city will rapidly grow economically.
For more information on Porchland Group projects, go to www.porchland.com.