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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Projects will be finished: officials

Projects will be finished: officials

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Large-scale construction projects in the capital have been delayed by the global financial crisis but will be completed, behind schedule, property developers and city officials say

Photo by: Heng Chivoan

A building site at Camko City in Phnom Penh. The project is one of number of large construction initiatives that has been delayed in the capital by the financial crisis.

Building Phnom Penh's Mega-projects

  • Camko City by World City company of South Korea

    Projected completion date: 2015 at the earliest

  • Grand Phnom Penh International City by Cambodia’s YLP Group and Ciputra Group of Indonesia

    Projected completion date: 2015 at the earliest

  • Koh Pich by Canadia Bank

    Projected completion date: 2016 at the earliest

  • Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone by Attwood Import Export Co

    Projected completion date: unknown

CAMBODIA'S large-scale construction projects are going ahead, but are behind schedule, said officials and developers at a recent conference.

"The development of suburban mega-projects - such as Camko City, Grand Phnom Penh International City, Koh Pich [Diamond Island] and Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone - is still under way, even with the real estate downturn," said Chhay Rithisen, director of Phnom Penh municipal Department of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction. He made the comments Tuesday at the Phnom Penh Master Plan Development 2020 meeting in Phnom Penh.

Nhem Sothea, marketing manager of the Grand Phnom Penh International City, said the first phase of construction for the 510 residential units is forging ahead. The project began one year ago and completion has been moved back one-year due to the slowdown.

"So far, about 40 percent of the residential unit construction has been completed and we planned to finish in 2010, but due to the real estate downturn, it may take up to 2011 to complete," said Nhem Sothea. "We are not very concerned about the real estate downturn because our investment is long term and we expect the recovery will come soon."

The development of suburban mega-projects ... is still under way .

He said 200 out of the 510 units have been sold. "We recognise that our sales declined up to 40 percent since the start of the crisis, and now customers are buying homes for about US$80,000 to $100,000. They are not buying houses or businesses for higher prices."

Charles Vann, deputy general manager of Canadia Bank, which has a stake in Diamond Island City, said the development infrastructure is under way, despite the crisis.

"We are going to develop Diamond Island City. Now our project is under way; we have not stopped - even though the global financial crisis affected Cambodian property... Now we are building the infrastructure to prepare the riverbank," said Vann.

Kheng Ser, assistant to Camko City Vice President DK Kim, told the Post on Tuesday that building has progressed and the first phase of residential units will be ready next month.

"We have sold about 90 percent of the 1,009 residential units in the first phase - 120 families out of 160 families will move in April," he said.

However, he admitted that property sales have fallen. "About 90 percent of sales took place in 2007 and 2008 before the property crisis. Now it is very quiet, we cannot motivate clients to buy," he said.

3.5%

population growth in the city per year

Phnom Penh will add 10,000 families per year to its population, meaning that by 2020 two million people will live within the confines of the capital

An expert on the municipal development plans said that the progress is positive, but they will not address Phnom Penh's urban planning issues.

"Those mega-projects reflect economic development, but they are affordable for are the rich. Ordinary people still have no place to live," he said.

"The city needs to deal with population growth - now the population is 1.3 million, and will grow 3.5 percent or 10,000 families per year, to reach up to two million in 2020," said Frederic Mauret, the city's French technical expert for the 2020 municipal master plan.

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