New construction prakas slated

Thu, 29 March 2012 Kong Leanghuor The Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction announced that it is drafting a new prakas, or edict, in an attempt to reinforce regulations in Cambodia’s construction sector.{jathumbnail} The ministry is drawing up the new construction law with the assistance of local architects, engineers and international lawmakers, Lao Tip Seiha, construction department director at the Ministry of Land Management Urban Planning and Construction said. “The law will strengthen the construction sector and provide an improved living environment for potential customers,” he said, adding that it will also provide more transparency and attract investors to the market. The proposed prakas will complement the Ministry of Economy and Finance’s Housing Development Law, which, among other requirements, obligates developers to deposit 2 per cent of the total value of the project. It is slated for implementation in the third quarter of 2012. The drafting of the law was overseen by members of Singapore-based group PEMASEK, which has previous experience drawing up similar edicts in the city state, according to Beng Hong Socheat, spokesman for the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction. He added, however, that a completion date for the draft has yet to be set. While the sector has experienced reasonable recovery from the economic downturn, some victims were claimed, such as the South Korean-funded Gold Tower 42 and Camko City, which both stand incomplete. Some members of the sector, however, questioned the significance of another development-related prakas. “What worries us is that the laws from different ministries will start to overlap. It requires prior consultation, so the same cake isn’t baked twice,”...

Colonial buildings in Kampot receive restoration funding

Thu, 29 March 2012 Kong Leanghuor Three colonial-era buildings in Kampot have been earmarked for preservation by a committee including members of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, provincial authorities and France-based group the International Organization of the Francophonie.{jathumbnail} The committee will spend almost US$300,000 on restoring the properties to their original grandeur, according to Kong Phalla, director of Kampot Provincial Department of Culture and Fine Art. “We don’t plan on only preserving these three buildings, but also privately owned colonial properties,” he said. “We have instructed the owners not to dismantle them, but constructed in accordance with the original style.” Some 500 colonial-era buildings are located in Kampot and are classified into two categories – public and privately owned properties, Kong Phalla added. “Nowadays, people are starting to see the value of such properties and, for example, are renovating them into attractive guesthouses.” This most significant building considered for renovation is the former provincial hall, Kampot governor Khoy Khunhuor told PostProperty. Once the reparations are complete, the historical building will be used a museum, he said. Khoy Khunhuor said, however, that difficulties could arise in conserving privately-owned properties. “We cannot force owners of colonial houses to reconstruct them in accordance with the previous style…the properties are there possession.” He added that this is second project in Kampot that the International Organization of the Francophonie have contributed towards, with the previous fund contributing towards the construction of a clean-water system. Read Original...

Property of the week

Thu, 29 March 2012 Yi Somphose Located on a peaceful road in the Boeung Kak 1 area of Toul Kork, this European-style villa comes fully furnished with an abundance of natural light.{jathumbnail} It is well-equipped with a mixture of Western and Cambodian styles and traditional wooden furniture. Outside, there is a spacious garden and large parking space, which can hold six vehicles. All the required amenities, such as schools, restaurants and banks are nearby. The villa consists of eight bedrooms, six bathrooms, living room, dining room, and modern kitchen. A great opportunity to live in a capacious villa in a placid part of town, the property is on the market for US$4,500 per calendar month, excluding bills.  Read Original...

Profile: Landscaping for the future

Thu, 29 March 2012 Jeremiah Lim and Yi Somphose Situated on the second floor of a 1930’s colonial house, once used as a photography exhibition hall, is SA.LA Design Landscaping and Architectural Group’s office. The five year old firm is an established member of the Kingdom’s architecture scene, being the first of its kind, and has gradually earned a strong reputation for design, both locally and internationally.{jathumbnail} Sa.La’s founder Sarunya Lormaneenoapparat, who hails from Thailand, studied landscape architecture at Bangkok-based Chulalongkorn University, before moving on to the Asian Institute of Technology. She moved to Phnom Penh in 2005 to teach at Norton University, and, in 2006, formed the landscaping company. Sarunya told PostProperty that Sa.La started out as an experimental project to provide students with first-hand experience of how landscaping could be achieved in Cambodia. “The first thing I tell customers is that this isn’t a job for me – it’s a case study for the next generation [of landscapers], Sarunya said, as she flicked through a hefty stack of designs. “We have a normal income, but it’s not really a big deal.” Her philosophy is reminiscent of Austrian naturalist architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, touching on ecological ideas such as reducing the usage of air conditioners through the building and the incorporation of roof gardens and plants to shade buildings. Sa.La focuses immensely on the process rather than the product. According to Sarunya, she and her colleagues would spend hours at the worksite before starting on any drawings or ideas for the project. “Sometimes sites will give you ideas. We try to make good of the site, environment and the...

Good start to 2012 for property companies

Thu, 15 March 2012 Seun Son Property companies experienced a year-on-year increase in transactions through the first two months of 2012, offering an optimistic outlook for the rest of the year.{jathumbnail} A number of major real estate firms told Post Property that both property sales and rentals rose, compared to the same period last year. “A number of new housing developments entered the market last year, which has led to large growth in customers,” Chrek Soknim, deputy director of VTrust Property Co said. In the first two months of the year, VTrust has dealt with a total of 130 customers, a 62 per cent increase from the 80 customers in January and February last year, he said. “We only had 10 customers buying properties last year, but in the first two months of 2012 this doubled. In addition, the number of customers leasing units soared 60 per cent,” Chrek Soknim said. He added that his company has also assisted 30 customers in leasing office space, of which more than half were foreign nationals. Other property agents have also seen transactions pick up this year. Dith Channa, general manager of VMC Real Estate Company said overall transactions rose 29 per cent year-on-year. “We saw little activity in the market in early 2011, however, things sped up through the year, especially in the growing office market,” he said. The firms office space rentals increased 44 per cent, while house purchases and leases rose 18 and 32 per cent respectively, Dith Channa added. Chheng Kimlong, business and economics lecturer at the University of Cambodia said that he expects this trend to continue...