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Thai and foreign buyers in a stalled condo project in Patong went to Provincial Hall on Wednesday (May 6) to push for the return of money they have already paid to the development company.
Construction of the 196-unit Ace 1 Condominium project, on Sai Nam Yen Rd, was scheduled to begin in February 2013 with completion last month. But, say the buyers, the site is still bare.
Because of an internal dispute within the development company, nothing has been built.
Advertised prices for Ace units run from B1.7 million for a studio apartment to B12.7 million for a penthouse. But although the buyers have paid almost all of the price, none of the units exists yet.
So on Wednesday a dozen buyers went to the Damrongdharm Centre to lodge a complaint and then met with Governor Nisit Jansomwang.
Buyers signed standard contracts with a deposit and monthly payments over 18 months from September 2013 to February this year, with handover of units supposed to have taken place last month. That was when the buyers found that nothing had been built.
Damrongtham Centre chief Prapan Kanprasang told the angry buyers, “All documents about deposits and payments must be given to the Damrongdharm Centre. We will pass on your demands for information to the project owner.”
Totsapon Ampasatien, administration officer of project told The Phuket News by phone, “Actually, this project should have been completed by July this year. But now it will probably be next year.
“The project cannot be completed [at the moment] because of a problem inside the project. I am not at liberty to say what that problem is.
“About 17 people have demanded their money back. The company will repay all the money, though I don’t know how just yet.
“Refunding the money is is not the problem. The problem is an internal company issue.”
After visiting the Damrongdharm Centre, the disgruntled buyers then met Governor Nisit Jansomwong and explained the situation to him. He also held a separate closed-door meeting with a representative of Ace.
Didier Giesen who paid to ACE condominium project. He told, “I bought two units in Building 1. I paid every month to their bank account.
“Finally, we found that after two years nothing has been built. I hope the governor’s office can help us to [rectify the situation] before things get stupid.”
Paul Schmieken, from Sydney, Australia, added, “We sent the payments, and we expected to get receipts. But all we got was emails saying, “Got it. Thank you very much.”
Mr Giesen said, “I want my money back. We met Alisa [”Note” Likitittiruks, Deputy Managing Director of Ace Condo] when we saw that nothing had been built. She is the daughter of the owner. But now she does not answer my calls. We can’t get in touch with her or the project owner. They might as well be invisible.
“We have a lot of questions about this but Alisa does not reply to my emails. We are upset about this.”
Mr Schmieken added, “You can visit the Ace sales office near Patong Hospital. You will meet nice girls who give you a glass of water but they can’t answer any questions.”
The Phuket News could not contact the owner of the project or even get an appointment to meet him, but did manage to get hold of his daughter, Ms Alisa.
She told The Phuket News, “At present I can give you no comment about the condominium project. Everything now is in the courts.”