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Island villas hit the market

Island villas hit the market

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Developer offers discounts in Diamond Island City's first phase

The developer of a satellite city on Phnom Penh's Koh Pich, or Diamond Island, is offering a discount on villas and houses in the first phase of the US$200 million project.

Touch Samnang, project manager and architect for the Overseas Cambodia Investment Corp (OCIC), said the 168 houses in the $24 million Elite Town phase would be completed by September 2010.

"We are giving special prices to people who buy houses in the first phase," he said. "We will sell houses in the second and third phases at the full price."

He claimed 30 percent of the available units had been bought since marketing began in September this year. A range of styles were available, from six-bedroom, seven-bathroom King Villas to four-bedroom, five-bathroom twin and link houses.  

Units were priced from $200,000 up to $1 million, Touch Samnang said.

The developer, OCIC, has the same shareholders as Canadia Investment Holding Company, which owns Canadia Bank PLC, the financier of the project.

When completed, the Diamond Island City will occupy 75 hectares on the island, which is located on the Tonle Bassac river in Chamkarmon district, just 100 metres from Hun Sen Park.

One of many

It is one of five satellite cities under development in Phnom Penh. The others are the $2 billion Camko City project, the $500 million Grand Phnom Penh International City, the $2 billion Malaysian-invested Sunway City and the $300 million Boeung Snor Satellite City being built by petroleum giant Sokimex Group.

If completed as planned, the cities would cover a combined area of 1,100 hectares, or 2.4 percent of the city's 375 square kilometres.

Pushing ahead

The Diamond Island project was originally slated for completion by 2016 at the earliest when it was granted approval in 2006, but Touch Samnang said the developers were trying to push it through ahead of schedule.

"We are rushing on the first phase and have already sold 30 percent of the houses," he said. "We want to finish the first project on time, and we are jumping ahead to have the second and third phase ready in three to four years."

The development has not been affected by the global financial crisis because it was financed through the domestic Canadia Bank, which was largely shielded from the fallout of the US subprime mortgage meltdown, he said.

Construction began on the project a little more than three weeks ago, according to  project engineer Khem Rith.

The developer was targeting business people, NGO workers, Khmers living abroad and foreigners, especially Chinese, Touch Samnang said.

"Buyers can buy the houses and villas for living and working, or they can buy them to rent or sell," he said.

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