World Housing builds community-oriented homes

Thu, 24 December 2015 Moeun Nhean Over the past year-and-a half, Cambodia Children’s Fund in Partnership with World Housing has built 360 homes for underprivileged families in Stueng Meanchey. The ambitious goal was to create community-oriented homes that operated on a principle of a one-for-one real estate gifting model that allows families to rent homes at an affordable price. Post Property spoke with Graham Brewster, the managing director of World Housing about the success of the project. When did the housing project begin and what inspired it? World Housing’s foundation in Cambodia goes back to 2010, when co-founder Pete Dupuis was introduced to Scott Neeson of the Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF). Pete was writing his master’s thesis at the time, centred on the idea of creating a model to build homes for families living in slums around garbage dumps. In 2013, the concept became a reality when we built our first community of five homes together with CCF. Since then, we’ve built hundreds of homes and discovered the real impact comes with building communities, which is so much more than a group of homes. How big is each house? What are the materials used and in terms of durability, how long can each house last with regular maintenance? The homes are approximately 3.6 square metres, elevated on stilts about two metres off the ground. This creates a lockable, private area on the inside of the home, and a space for cooking and socializing underneath the home. The frame of the home is galvanized steel, with colour bond steel paneling on the outside, wood floors and insulated walls. The wooden...

A business gamble on future infrastructure developments

Thu, 24 December 2015 Hanamariya Halim and Dit Sokthy The brand new PTT petrol station accompanied by a Café Amazon, a restaurant, and a Jiffy minimart in Sangkat Prek Kompeus in the Dongkor district along National Road 2 was flooded with cement and sand trucks. Brown dust filled the air and covered the leaves of surrounding trees. Despite seemingly adverse business circumstances for high-end motorway service area, PTT franchisee Sen Nith was optimistic in having a one-stop-shop along “the future belt of Phnom Penh,” he said. With the 60 metre wide connection between National Road 2 and National Road 3, and a web of upcoming developments taking place, he believes he has primed the pump in an area destined for growth. “There have recently been more infrastructure developments on National Road 2 connecting Takhmao city with the National Road 1 in Kandal province through the Prek Samrong Bridge, so crowds will cross this location,” he explained. Nith hopes to attract future travelers, emphasising that the Hun Sen Boulevard across Boeung Cheung Aek Lake is also connected to National Road 2— which is in the planning stage of being widened with construction to start at the end of 2016, according to Kim Borey, general director of the Ministry of Public Work and Transportation. Long Dimanche, spokesperson for City Hall, said that Hun Sen Boulevard will not only alleviate traffic jams from the Kbal Thlol flyover to National Road 2, but also make it more accessible for residential projects headed by real estate developer ING Holdings around the Boeung Cheung Aek Lake area. However, Dimanche did not comment on the concrete...

Takeo’s Bati district could become a hotspot for garment factories

Thu, 24 December 2015 Dit Sokthy and Hanamariya Halim Land prices in Krang Thnong commune, in Takeo’s Bati district near National Road 2, have recently multiplied by up to ten times compared to five years ago after two garment factories started being constructed in the rural community this year, locals claim. Meanwhile, the area might be a hotspot for new garment factories, or factories looking to reduce costs and resettle in places that have an available workforce, real estate experts say. “I have seen two garment factories under construction in my commune so far. When there were no garment factories, the land price was low. Obviously, it has sharply risen these days,” said Krang Thnong commune chief Yin Im. “Some plots of land close to the National Road 2 could be sold at as low as $3 per square metre five years ago, while the price was as low as $1 per square metre for some plots of land located further along the National Road,” he said. Sum Savy, 51, a local land dealer who helped to buy land from local villagers for the construction of garment factories, is well aware about the surge of land prices in the commune as well as that of land along the National Road 2. He said that now, land along National Road 2 is sold at about $30 per square metre. “The land price is rapidly increasing due to the presence of garment factories along National Road 2, especially in Bati’s Krang Thnong district. As we can see, more factories have been built from the intersection of the National Road 2 in...

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...

Administrative building and parking lot for City Hall to open next year

Thu, 17 December 2015 Siv Meng An administrative building, and a large underground parking lot that can accommodate up to 300 cars will be officially inaugurated in 2016, according to Long Dimanche, a City Hall spokesperson. Dimanche told the Post that the City Hall administrative building, which is 12 storeys high, is almost 90 per cent completed. He added that, “this is a workers’ building of the City Hall, adding to the existing building since the City Hall has many government officials working,[therefore] we need more buildings for work”. As of present, the City Hall has an estimated 340 officials, with the total number adding up to 800 officials with the inclusion of all district and commune officials, according to Dimanche. However, he did not disclose the cost of building this structure and parking lot, only mentioning that the developments were financed by City Hall’s funds. This new administrative building of City Hall is located at the south of the old City Hall building, which was left empty since after the end of the French colonisation. Construction of this building had commenced at the beginning of 2015, and is slated to be completed by 2016 if no further adjustments are made to the plan. Seng Lot, spokesperson for the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, offered no comment when asked about this plan, directing it to the City Hall spokesperson to answer...

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...