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SKorean project is latest to be delayed

VOGO Village II, a South Korean development project on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, has delayed construction until the property market improves, a company official said Thursday.

“We planned to begin the construction of 80 villas for [the] project in 2010, but our research shows that we cannot get started this year,” said Tan Socheath, general manager of VOGO Co Ltd. “We are waiting for a good time to build, but we don’t know when we will do it.”

Not enough buyers had come forward for the Dangkor district project, “That’s why we decided to delay,” he said, adding that work has been confined to a new administrative office.

VOGO will continue with the Star River construction project with its contractor, South Korea’s Posco Engineering and Construction Co Ltd, Tan Socheath said.

Posco is behind the US$300 million Star River development along the Tonle Bassac river in Chamkarmon District, the designs for which include 1,000 apartments in three buildings higher than 40 stories.

Work is already complete on the $3 million VOGO Village I, near Phnom Penh International Airport, which sold out all 80 of its residential villas last year, Tan Socheath said.

Prices for Village I ranged from $140,000 to $220,000 per unit, and a similar price structure had been expected for Village II, he added.

Neuk Narin, general manager of Bonna Realty Group, said Thursday that the project is suffering because of its location.

“Every residential development outside the city has been very hard to sell,” he said. “But if they develop a housing project within the city, they can hope to attract clients to buy it.”

The delay for VOGO represents the latest in a series of developments that have stalled amid a sluggish property market following the onset of the economic crisis in the last quarter of 2008.

In an effort to spur more projects to completion, the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction has begun inspections.

VOGO’s Village II project has so far escaped scrutiny.

“We didn’t know project development at VOGO Village II had been delayed,” said Lao Tip Seiha, director of the ministry’s Construction Department. “We will prepare a suitable time to go down and check it.”

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