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Underground parking in the city centre may alleviate traffic congestion. WIKI COMMONS

Garage gossip

Two big local companies are rumored to build underground parking lots with shopping centers in an attempt to decrease the lack of parking space in a city plagued by insufficient urban planning.

Touch Samnang, Deputy Director of Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation (OCIC), said that the construction of a two-floor underground parking lot will begin in early December. According to him the blueprint has already been drawn and approved. This development will take one year and a half to finish and will be able to house 200 cars. Each floor, he added, will take up 4,000 square metres. The project will be situated between Canadia Tower and Vattanac Capital Tower.

However, Touch was quick to note that the project is fully independent from Vattanac Capital Tower, who he claims, is rumored to be in the planning stages of a similar development in the same – already congested – area.

“We didn’t cooperate with Vattanac Capital Tower for this project. We have different projects,” he said. “This parking lot will be for Canadia Tower and nearby citizens can also park their cars here, too.”

However, Touch didn’t release details on how much the project will cost, an official date of completion nor if it has been certified by city hall.

Meanwhile, according to an official representative of a Singaporean consulting agency the represents Vattanac Capital Tower, who spoke upon the condition of anonymity, Vattanac Capital Tower will construct their own four-story underground parking lot and shopping center. According to the source, the blueprint has already been completed and the company is in the bidding process for who will be awarded construction rights.

Although the official couldn’t provide exact details on the Vattanac Capital Tower project, nor the actual size, amount of investment or the date of completion, he said the project is expected to run from Vattanac Capital Tower towards the park across from the Old Market, weaving beneath Kramuon Sar Street. After the construction, the company will ensure the park is in the same condition it is now, the official said.

Thavrith Lim, Sales Manager for Vattanac Captial confirmed the project is being discussed, however, he noted that he had not been briefed by senior officials within the company as to when the project will commence.

If this underground project goes as planned, Phnom Penh will have two underground shopping centers – the first one being Naga Corp’s investment in an underground shopping center that would connect Naga Hotel and Naga2, which is currently under construction.

The Communication Officer for Naga Corp could not be reached for comment.

Long Dimanche, Phnom Penh City Hall spokesperson welcomed the proposed developments by OCIC, however, he could not disclose any information about either the OCIC project or Vattanac Capital project and was awaiting more detailed information.
He also said that these investments into parking lots would help City Hall solve the lack of parking space throughout the city.

“It’s Phnom Penh City Hall’s principle to encourage more investment into parking lots from the private sector,” he said.



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