Sukhumvit area businesses are starting to see more of an influx of visitors now as the high season officially starts up. That’s good news for everyone who suffered through an epic downturn over the last several months. One thing that hasn’t suffered in the meantime is the continued construction boom in the area which we’ll update you on. We’ll also give you the lowdown on the sidewalk cleanup that’s being debated and tell you about a juicy rumor that we’ve recently heard.
First, the hotel that’s been under construction on Soi 8 is almost finished. We’re not sure what the name of this building is since the rooftop sign is unreadable from the street, something the building owners may want to change at some point. The Soi 10 condo is also moving right along as is the hotel project on the subsoi between 11 and 13. And the Hyde project on Soi 11 is growing by leaps and bounds as they’ve already pushed it well over 20 stories as of our last sighting. There are many more projects ongoing in the area but due to space consideration we’ll have to mention them in our next column.
The sidewalk vendor cleanup may be poised to start soon on a permanent basis. This is something that should have, in our humble opinion, been done long ago for many reasons but whatever the reason for doing it now we have to applaud the government for this very positive step. What has happened recently is this: several army personnel set up a booth on the sidewalk between Soi 11/1 and Soi 13 on Sukhumvit Road and stayed there for several hours each day asking passersby to fill out a form asking them, essentially, if they were in favor of removing vendors from the stretch of sidewalk between Sois 1-21. According to the toteboard they erected showing the daily vote totals the people wanting the vendors gone were overwhelmingly in the lead so that’s why we think the vendors will be gone. Our congrats to the government may have been a bit premature but it looks like this will be a done deal at some point soon.
And the juicy rumor? And make no mistake, at this point it’s just that, but could Soi Cowboy be on the way out? That’s what we’ve heard from an old hand here and a very reliable source. Apparently, the powers that be aren’t especially enamored with our mini-redlight district probably because it’s located in the Sukhumvit area. This is supposed to be the showcase area of the city after all, with many five-star hotels and high-end shopping centers located here as well as expensive condos with more on the way.
This would be in keeping with the effort to clean up the sidewalks also in an attempt to polish up the area and make it more attractive to upscale tourists, and oft-stated goal of the TAT. Many will lament the loss of Cowboy if it actually happens but there’s no doubt that the overall essence of this area would change.