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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - A business gamble on future infrastructure developments

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The new Cafe Amazon, with its trademark macau mascot, at Sangkat Prek Kompeus. Dit Sokthy

A business gamble on future infrastructure developments

The brand new PTT petrol station accompanied by a Café Amazon, a restaurant, and a Jiffy minimart in Sangkat Prek Kompeus in the Dongkor district along National Road 2 was flooded with cement and sand trucks. Brown dust filled the air and covered the leaves of surrounding trees. Despite seemingly adverse business circumstances for high-end motorway service area, PTT franchisee Sen Nith was optimistic in having a one-stop-shop along “the future belt of Phnom Penh,” he said. With the 60 metre wide connection between National Road 2 and National Road 3, and a web of upcoming developments taking place, he believes he has primed the pump in an area destined for growth.

“There have recently been more infrastructure developments on National Road 2 connecting Takhmao city with the National Road 1 in Kandal province through the Prek Samrong Bridge, so crowds will cross this location,” he explained.

Nith hopes to attract future travelers, emphasising that the Hun Sen Boulevard across Boeung Cheung Aek Lake is also connected to National Road 2— which is in the planning stage of being widened with construction to start at the end of 2016, according to Kim Borey, general director of the Ministry of Public Work and Transportation.

Long Dimanche, spokesperson for City Hall, said that Hun Sen Boulevard will not only alleviate traffic jams from the Kbal Thlol flyover to National Road 2, but also make it more accessible for residential projects headed by real estate developer ING Holdings around the Boeung Cheung Aek Lake area.

However, Dimanche did not comment on the concrete date of completion of the Hun Sen Boulevard. Kim Borey also could not provide an answer when contacted.

Although completion dates are uncertain, Nith’s faith in his location is further cemented by the ongoing residential developments.

“The land in the region has been divided into smaller plots which are developing housing projects too, and this reflects an interest from the private sector,” he said.

For now, Café Amazon is selling around 100 cups of coffee and other drinks daily since PTT’s opening, according to Nith.

In five years’ time however, daily sale volumes are expected to increase to 250 to 300 cups once the area has been fully developed, according Hak Theam, General Manager of Café Amazon Cambodia, who gave Post Property an average sales volume for an established branch.

Nith is confident that he will be able to earn profits in the next three years, and he predicts that his petrol sales will climb because of PTT’s reputation. While infrastructure may lag with uncertain completion dates, business owners like Nith are betting on future growth.

“This station is a base for future investment. I am also interested in opening more stations on National Road 5 from Phnom Penh to different provinces,” he said.

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