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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Skyscraper to change city skyline

Skyscraper to change city skyline

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TRACEY SHELTON

A model of the future 42-story skyscraper. More are to come and some say they will transform Phnom Penh into a ‘modern city’.

Another South Korean company announced plans to build a city skyscraper, this one

to begin construction next week at the heavily trafficked corner of Sihanouk and

Monivong Blvds.

The South Korean Yon Woo Co., Ltd developer said it is investing $240 million in

a glitzy high tech 42-story building Gold Tower, which will have apartments and office

and commercial space.

The building is expected to be completed by 2011.

The company received its approvals from the government in May 2007.

The news comes on top of the announcement by Korea's GS Engineering and Construction

Company, that it will start construction in June on a 53-story building near the

Russian Embassy in the Tonle Bassac riverfront area. It is supposed to be finished

in 2012.

"We see that the skyscraper market is getting interest from Cambodian people

because the price of the land is very expensive now,"" said Sry Thamarong,

personal advisor to Prime Minister Hun Sen.

He said the prime minister is encouraging more skyscrapers.

"The 53-story is the tallest, but in the future there will be taller ones."

The Yon Woo Co. Ltd. held a ceremony to launch construction January 24.

The architectural drawings for Gold Tower were done in Korea.

Yon Woo is the developer and was in charge of searching for the right site. It has

hired a separate contractor.

Company officials said the contractor will employ about 300 Cambodian workers and

Korean engineers during the construction period.

Yon Woo official Kim Tea Yon said the company is committed to contributing to the

success of the Cambodian economy as well as to its stakeholders, who expect profits.

Collaborators in the project are DaeHan Real Estate Trust, a fund management firm,

and Hanil Engineering & Construction Co Ltd, which initiated the construction

of the first phase of the large Camko City planned development on the outskirts of

Phnom Penh, the officials said. Korean investment is involved there also.

In a statement, the company said: "The Yon Woo Co.,Ltd will become the project

for the image of the international capital by making a new skyline in the city of

Phnom Penh ."

Investment from Korea in the past year has been picking up fast, according to Sangkwang

Lee, Commercial Attache of the Embassy of Republic of Korea in Phnom Penh.

He told the Post that Korean total investment in Cambodia since 1992 totaled $897

million, but in just nine months of 2007, it had already reached $502 million.

He said that Korea's total foreign investment worldwide last year was $15.3 billion.

The investment went to: China $4.9 billion; US $2 billion; Vietnam $1.1 billion;

Hong Kong $752 million. Cambodia was its fifth largest investment target. He said

Korean businessmen are beginning to see Cambodia as an alternative to the higher

prices in Vietnam.

"They have many possibilities in Vietnam, but they have been looking for another

destination for investment," Lee said.

Im Chhun Lim, Minister of Land Management, Urban Planing and Construction, said in

his speech at the launch that the government received more than 1,500 requests for

construction projects worth $1.5 billion in the first nine months of 2007.

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