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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Govt OKs $12m project to redo Kandal Market

Govt OKs $12m project to redo Kandal Market

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A vendor sells fruit and vegetables Sunday at Kandal Market. Stall owners will be required to relocate for three years during construction of the new market complex by PPMD & Rootiz.

Vendors to be relocated for three years during first phase
of construction, says joint-venture developer PPMD & Rootiz

We don't want to keep vendors out of business for too long.

KANDAL market is the focus of a US$12 million redevelopment that has been approved in principle in a joint venture between a South Korean company and local firm PPMD, the project's director said Sunday.

Chan Sophal of the joint venture PPMD & Rootiz told the Post that the project has been approved by Prime Minister Hun Sen and Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng on condition that the firm and the vendors reach agreement.

"We already have some capital for the investment, and we are negotiating with the market vendors," Chan Sophal said. "This is a key stage, and once agreement is reached, we can get the project under way."

Kandal Market has two sections: a wooden market, which is the focus of the development, and a single-storey concrete structure to which this project does not apply at this stage.

Chan Sophal said 90 percent of the vendors in the wooden market are keen on the project, and the firm is working to get the remaining 10 percent on board. He said the new eight-storey building would retain the public market on the ground floor, and vendors would keep the position and space that they now hold.

"We are not going to build it in the style of a modern shopping centre such as Paragon or the Sorya centre," he said.

PPMD & Rootiz would improve the market design, he said, and would build offices and apartments on the upper floors. Chan Sophal said the firm hopes to earn a return within five years from office and flat rentals.

It will take three years to construct the first three storeys, with the remaining five floors completed in the second phase, he said.

"We don't want to keep vendors out of business for too long," he said, adding that the company would find an alternative place for vendors during phase one of construction.

The chief of Kandal Market's committee, Sun Dany, said he was not involved in the deal between the company and the vendors.

"As long as the vendors and the company can reach an agreement, the investment will go ahead," he said. He added that a number of Kandal Market's 874 vendors and 495 mobile-stand sellers are not keen on the proposal.

The company said it has also approached vendors in the concrete section of the market, but most of those are not interested in redevelopment. Several of these vendors said the purported benefits were unclear, and before signing up, they want a clear message from the government assuring them their businesses will be protected.

"We plan to voice our concerns to Samdech Hun Sen so that he is aware of these challenges," a footwear vendor said Saturday on condition of anonymity.

South Korean company Rootiz & Geeco set up PPMD & Rootiz earlier this year. PPMD holds 30 percent of the company, with the rest owned by Rootiz.

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