The future in Phnom Penh is overwhelming; and Doraemon recognises this

Thu, 17 December 2015 Hanamariya Halim Flanked by life-sized statues of Japanese cartoon character Doraemon, and the infamous one-eyed yellow minions made popular by the animated American movie Despicable Me, China’s Prince Real Estate was far from alone at the official launch of their showroom (opposite the National Assembly), and the opening ceremony of its latest development Prince Central Plaza, a HOPSCA—Hotel, Offices, Parks, Shopping Mall, Convention Centre, and Apartments—last Tuesday. While the launch aimed to spice up the humdrum of a typical property launch, Pol Lyta, a property consultant for Prince Central Plaza, explained the deeper meaning behind the unusual marketing strategy, saying, “Doraemon is a robot cat that comes from the future [22nd century], and can go back into the past, and he is also able to fly all over the world.” With the ability Doraemon possesses, it seems to refer to Prince Central Plaza’s outlook on the future of Phnom Penh in making the development the integrated business and lifestyle nucleus of the Kingdom, while retaining an avant-garde take on traditional Khmer architectural design. As countless Doraemons had flown in to Phnom Penh to station themselves at the opening ceremony, Despicable Me’s yellow minions had also come along for the ride, possibly to inject some humour and entertainment to a typical lacklustre affair. Being an entertainment-centralised hub, Lyta elaborated that “the minions from Despicable Me represent the fun and entertaining side of what Prince Central Plaza’s various amenities and facilities can offer.” To emphasise its point, guests at the launch were also given freebies in the form of the one-eyed yellow minion soft toy plushies. However...

The Bay to begin construction in first quarter of 2016

Thu, 17 December 2015 Kali Kotoski After a tumultuous year in Cambodia for Singapore-based TEHO International, the developers of the $500 million The Bay condominium project on Chroy Changvar peninsula said construction will begin early next year with a new marketing strategy after another managerial shakeup. Announced on the Singapore Stock Exchange earlier this week, ECG (Cambodia) was bought out and formalized into the parent company ECG Property—a wholly owned subsidiary of TEHO International that handles all marketing and promotional activities. Previously operated by the joint venture’s partner, Sok Bun, ECG Cambodia was purchased to a tune of $71,776, or what amounted to 45 per cent of the initial paid-up share capital. Currently, the unaudited net assets for ECG Cambodia as of July 2015 amounted to $169,836, the statement read. While ECG Cambodia will still perform its duties as the acting real estate agency for The Bay, all marketing and promotional activities will be conducted at the head office back in Singapore. Phua Cheng Boon, Financial Controller for TEHO International, said, “it is good to have full integration of our projects.” “We will have somebody based in Singapore who will be able to run operations regionally as well,” he said. It was previously reported by The Post that 100 condominium units had been sold since the soft launch in September. However, Phua declined to provide current figures. “While we can’t disclose the level of sales, we are confident to say that construction will begin in the first quarter of 2016,” he said. With a new marketing strategy, he added, the development “will not be about big exposure.” TEHO International,...

Doubts surround Phnom Penh’s master plan

Thu, 17 December 2015 Julius Thiemann, Siv Meng and Moeun Nhean Last Friday, Phnom Penh’s master plan until 2035 was fully approved by the council of ministers, as announced by Pa Socheatvong, governor of Phnom Penh. While it is claimed that the plan is complete, those in the private and public sector and other relevant stakeholders fear that they have not been adequately consulted, raising concerns that implementation is unlikely and unjust. Without a publicly available draft that addresses socio-economic conditions as well as infrastructure, zoning, land title rights and all other concerns that come with the development of a city, they say it is unclear as to what the plan actually entails. Takashi Ito, Senior Representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) described the master plan as “a fruit of self-efforts by Phnom Penh municipality,” stating that JICA played no part in the current approved plan. Ito pointed out however, that JICA has submitted a master plan for transportation lines in March of this year, and is currently working on a master plan for a citywide sewage and drainage system. “We continue to be interested in healthy development of the capital city, which is why we have engaged in [these] two master plans,” Ito stated in an email. While Ito wouldn’t give Post Property an overview of the resources that are necessary to implement only a few crucial issues concerning city development, he admitted that without adequate resources, “it is not really practical to try to address all the problems,” he said. When it comes to meeting the demands of a burgeoning city and population, “it is,...

Bridging the gap between investment and accessibility in Chroy Changvar

Thu, 24 December 2015 Siv Meng Develop in the West, but do not forget the beautiful East that is Chroy Changvar with its beautifully boastful appearance. This is the claim that Prime Minister Hun Sen has used for the last decade to encourage investment and development on the dormant peninsula flanked by the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers, opposite Sisowath Quay and in direct view of the Royal Palace. Despite his efforts to encourage development from the private sector, investors have remained apprehensive due to a lack of infrastructure that limits the flow of traffic and accessibility. However, 2015 saw the opening of the second bridge linking Phnom Penh to the peninsula as well as the opening of the five-star Sokha Hotel—a mixed-use development with a hotel, retail space and condo units. With new roads beginning to take shape, the long-forgotten area appears to be growing in popularity as land prices soar dramatically on the back of developments like The Mekong View Tower and The Bay. Meanwhile, property experts with inside information claim that new developments such as The Bali Resort, a Taiwanese-backed development called The Manhattan, and the creation of a Sokha-owned skyscraper will commence construction in 2016. The lack of accessibility remains a core issue stifling growth to Chroy Changvar’s massive potential. In turn, rumours of the private sector taking up Hun Sen’s encouragement of infrastructure have recently surfaced. A developer and a real estate specialist, who requested anonymity, said that Sokimex Group—one of the largest gasoline and diesel importers, and owners of Sokha Hotel and Resorts—is currently seeking government permission to construct a new bridge that...

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