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Jet’s to expand night market

An overview of Phnom Penh’s container night market earlier this year. The owner of the market, Jet’s Group, says it is expanding after a successful initial period and plans to invest an additional $500,000 into the project.
An overview of Phnom Penh’s container night market earlier this year. The owner of the market, Jet’s Group, says it is expanding after a successful initial period and plans to invest an additional $500,000 into the project. Sahiba Chawdhary

Jet’s to expand night market

Following the popularity of Cambodia’s first-ever container night market, the company behind the project said it is investing an additional $500,000 to expand the open-air facility with an annex scheduled to open next month.

The container market, owned by Jet’s Group, will add an additional 16 modified 12-metre shipping containers, Project Manager Chhay Sophiorn said yesterday.

The expansion will bring the total containers to 40 with 316 stalls for shops, restaurants and bars. Sophiorn said that the company is renting an additional 2,860 square metres on top of the 1 hectare site that it already owns. The expansion, he said, would also include a 2-storey motorbike parking facility to accommodate the influx of visitors.

“Since the first project was so successful, we are now starting on the second part of the master plan that will provide more space for entertainment and a better and more convenient environment for customers,” he said, adding that when the market first launched in March it was quickly fully occupied.

See the market on its opening weekend here.

However, with the popularity comes higher rental fees for businesses that want to secure a typical 7.5-square-metre stall, he said.

“For our first project, we were charging monthly rental fees of $300 to $350,” he said. “Now for the expansion, the stalls will cost from $500 to $600 a month.”

“This time we will focus more on the quality and service, and we have already recruited partners with experience in running successful pubs and restaurants that are based on Thai and Korean models for night markets,” he added.

Sophiorn previously told The Post that Jet’s Group had sunk $400,000 into developing the first stage of its container market on land that the group already owned. With the hip shopping concept having proved wildly popular in London, Singapore and Bangkok, he added that it was no surprise that Jet’s Container Night Market has consistently drawn large crowds.

The success has already spawned imitators, with similar styled container markets in other areas of the capital, including one under construction in the Shukaku-owned Boeung Kak lake development, Phnom Penh City Centre. Sophiorn said he had also heard of similar projects planned in Sihanoukville and Siem Reap.

“Even though there will be growth in night market competition, we do not believe that we are losing any business opportunities because our location will continue to be better than other markets,” he said. “We will also pay more attention to customer security by hiring more guards and strengthening the numbers of our staff as the pubs get more crowded.”

While Jet’s is roaring up for more success, other night container market ambitions have collapsed. A container market named Zinc, which was supposed to be built on a former parking lot opposite the trendy expatriate bars and restaurants on Bassac Lane, has been cancelled due to a conflict over the cost of the rental location. Despite it being almost entirely completed as of two weeks ago, outfitted with nearly a dozen cargo containers, the market has since vanished and its space used once again as a parking area for cars and motorbikes.

A former manager of the project, who declined to be named, said that the development had been “totally cancelled” and that the containers had already been moved to another location.

“It’s too bad because the owner lost a lot of money on this investment, and it is sad not to see it happen,” the manager said, adding that the conflict stemmed from the renter of the 500-square-metre lot failing to clear the project with the landowner.

Additionally, a container market project announced last year by Singaporean-owned real estate and property management firm SC Capital appears to have been scrapped. Jackie Eng, the company’s CEO, previously told The Post that subsidiary firm Edgemark had purchased 40 containers and was looking to open a night market somewhere between Tuol Kork and the airport with an investment capital of up to $5 million. Contacted yesterday, management of SC Capital was unable to confirm whether the plan was still on track.

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