CP Group has something for everyone
The Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group (aka CP Group) are responsible for some of the most satisfying shopping experiences in the Land of Smiles. If you’ve visited Pattaya’s six-floor beachfront mall, Central Festival, you’ve had the CP experience. The Central Group is part of CP and is currently responsible for 10 retail projects, including Central Festival Phuket, Jing Jai Farmer's Market Chiang Mai, China World in Wangburapha, Platform Wongwianyai, and Porto De Phuket. Here on the Chonburi Coast, CP is developing two new retail shopping projects that couldn’t be more different.
On the north end of Pattaya, Wongamat Beach Village is planned to be a unique natural beach park & lifestyle mall, providing 29 premium Thai and international restaurants, cafes, souvenir shops, lifestyle stores and a supermarket. Phase one of the project is set on 13.5 rai of land. Each unit will have a space of 100-200 square meters. An additional 50 rai has been purchased and set aside for future growth.
According to Pong Skuntanaga, Central Group's head of corporate business development, the company is targeting quality Thai and foreign travelers with high purchasing power, local residents, Bangkokians, people from other provinces, expatriates in Pattaya as well as tourists. It plans to appeal to families, couples, and groups of friends, with the aim of attracting at least a million visitors a year, based on the estimated 16 million people who visited Pattaya in 2019.
Mr. Pong said Pattaya was chosen because the national income of people in Chon Buri ranks among the top five provinces, alongside Bangkok, Rayong, Chiang Mai and Phuket. He said Central Group recognizes the importance of developing and growing the basic infrastructure of Pattaya in an integrated and well-rounded manner, to prepare it for the government's Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Development Plan. “Pattaya has a lot of potential and readiness in various aspects”, he said.
Renderings feature a lot of nature as ¾ of the space will be designated “green areas”. More than 200 original trees have been preserved. The buildings are one-story with less use of concrete and synthetic materials, focusing more on natural materials such as vetiver grass and bamboo. The walkways are designed as sand tracks, covering an area of 10,000 sqm. A mall with sand on the floor? Very Pattaya indeed.
Travel down the coast towards Rayong Province and you’ll find the other end of CP’s shopping experience, Icon Siam at Na Jomtien. A massive property next to Ocean Marina, Icon Siam Na Jomtien will be convenient to visitors and residents as it is very near the intersection connecting Sukhumvit Road and Motorway 7. This shopping-dining-entertainment complex couldn’t be more different than Wongamat Beach Village.
The CP Group plans to build a huge commercial and residential complex that is expected to boost the profitability of a $7.3 billion high-speed rail line that the company has been chosen to construct. Even though CP lacks railroad experience, it has won a contract to connect two international airports in Bangkok with Utapao International Airport near Pattaya. The railway is expected to start operation in 2024. This new shopping complex gives high-speed rail riders another good reason to get aboard.
The complex is set on a site larger than 480,000 sq. meters and will include a shopping mall, a hotel, cinemas, and a convention center. The investment budget will be at least 10 billion baht ($327 million), a Pattaya city source said.
The mixed-use complex facilitates a way to boost the line's profitability in a significant way. Tourists could take the train to the shopping and entertainment destination, while residents could commute to the airports or other parts of Thailand. It is clear that CP intends for Icon Siam Na Jomtien to be more than just another high-end shopping mall. A business hub … a social gathering place … an entertainment park … an event venue … the pot of gold at the end of the high-speed rail rainbow.
In 2009, CP’s Central Group opened Central Festival in Pattaya, catching us up with the rest of the world. In the next few years, they will turn Pattaya into a proper shopping destination.