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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Investing smart to avoid commercial flop

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Sear Rithy, chairman of Worldbridge Land, is unperturbed by the “standstill in the local luxury condo market” as he ploughs ahead with yet another project. Pha Lina

Investing smart to avoid commercial flop

As the country now focuses its attention on the commune elections, the real estate sector has quietened down slightly to observe the situation. However, Worldbridge Land’s chairman Sear Rithy is unperturbed as he prepares to launch another large-scale development in the capital.

To rise up 59 storeys, Kowloon Bay – which already has a showroom built on the land the project is supposed to be on – will be along Sothearos Boulevard, across from Rose Condo. Despite the grand plans, the project is still pending approval from the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC).

Rithy told Post Property over the phone late last week that the project proposal had already been submitted to the MLMUPC, but the initial proposal of 63 floors had to be cut down to 59 floors to meet ministry regulations. The mixed development will comprise residential units and a mall, but further details were not given as Rithy continues to study the property market to see in what aspect demand lies.

“If I were worried about the current market, I wouldn’t be initiating this project. I still see that it is a strong project while the demand is still good,” he said, adding, “I haven’t studied other projects though they might be facing crisis, but my project has no issues, and my focus is its location.”

If it goes according to plan and approval is given from the ministry, Kowloon Bay – a joint venture between Worldbridge Land and Star City Development – will be erected on a land plot of 1.5 hectares.

Rithy declined to disclose the capital outlay for the project, nor did he give a specified timeline for completion.

“I’m not focusing on the overseas market, but I will look at targeting wealthy locals,” he said, noting that since the project has not had the full approval from the MLMUPC, he does not “want trouble”.

Cheng Kheng, CEO of Huttons CPL, vouched for the success of Rithy’s project, admitting that the local market for luxury condos was currently at a standstill even though it is faring relatively well when promoting to foreign investors and buyers.

“Sear Rithy has many local and international contacts, therefore he would have thoroughly studied this project. A developer normally has to study the market very clearly to determine their path on whether or not they can start investing.”

Noun Rithy, Khmer Foundation Appraisal’s CEO, said, “I think an investor is also an economist. They have to have a clear and thorough plan before deciding to embark on a project this big.”

Kim Heang, president of Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agents Association, refused to comment on Rithy’s plan.

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