The Ritz banks on Bangkok's highest building

The Ritz banks on Bangkok's highest building

Construction on Bangkok's most expensive condo development is set to begin. Financial suicide, or a sign of prosperous times ahead?

Construction on the MahaNakhon, set to be Bangkok's most expensive -- and tallest -- building, is due to begin later this year. 

Ritz-Carlton ResidencesSkyboxes, terraces and double height ceilings are part of the Ritz-Carlton Residences' sales pitch. Located near the Chongnonsi BTS station between Silom and Sathorn Roads, it will include a 200-unit Ritz-Carlton Residences, outdoor landscaped public plaza, upscale retail centre, 24-hour marketplace and a boutique hotel -- not run by Ritz-Carlton -- with 150 rooms and a multi-level roof-top bar and restaurant.

The Ritz-Carlton modestly dubs the building “Bangkok’s most prestigious address,” which smacks of pretty much every other advertising pitch tossed out by the city’s luxury developers these days.

But few developers are asking prices like this. Units in the Ritz-Carlton Residences range from 27 million baht for a one-bedroom condo to 341 million baht for a penthouse. Not exactly pocket change even for Bangkok's wealthiest residents.

Ultimately though, it all comes down to whether such an ambitious project -- due for completion in 2012 -- will sell in today’s depressingly compressed market. But it is, after all, the Ritz-Carlton. And as the wise F Scott Fitzgerald once said, "The rich are different."