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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Crisis hits developer of Anlong Veng site

Crisis hits developer of Anlong Veng site

DEVELOPMENT Zone Sonte Pheap City Anlong Veng has put its entire project up for sale for US$4 million after the company failed to find clients for properties on the site due to the struggling market, the project owner told the Post Tuesday.

“We stopped our residential building plan,” Sonte Pheap City owner Em Sophary said. “We cannot continue anymore because we don’t have anyone to manage it, and the economy is still not good of late.”

The development, in Oddar Meanchey Province’s Anlong Veng District, has been up for sale since the beginning of the year, “but until now we still have not attracted someone to buy it”, she said.

“We’ve already completed infrastructure, such as water, electricity, a road system and drainage,” she added.

The rest of the plan for flats, villas, a market, resort, school, hospital and 12-hole golf course have all been suspended.

The project began when Cambodia’s property market was booming in 2008, said Em Sophary, but the economic downturn had forced its closure.

Boom turns to bust
She said at the height of the boom she had turned down offers of $7 million for the project, which lies on 58 hectares in Trapeang Prey Commune, about 100 kilometres from Siem Reap town.

“I decided not to sell it, because I thought I could double the price by developing a housing project for sale,” she said. “But when the world economic crisis hit Cambodia so hard, the Cambodian property market – everything – became so quiet. I’m very disappointed.”

Keuk Narin, secretary for the National Valuers Association, said Tuesday that the group would be hard-pressed to find a buyer so far from a major town.

“It’s a really hard sale,” he said, noting that even city developers are having a hard time selling their properties. “I don’t believe they will be able to sell it at this time.”

The government is trying to promote Anlong Veng as a tourism hotspot in the Kingdom on the back of its numerous sites associated with the Khmer Rouge era – the town is the site of the grave of Pol Pot, the former leader of the Khmer Rouge regime, and the house of Ta Mok, the Khmer Rouge commander in charge of the Southwestern zone.

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