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More residents accept White Building offer

The White Building in Phnom Penh yesterday.
The White Building in Phnom Penh yesterday. Hong Menea

More residents accept White Building offer

More than half of the families living in the soon-to-be-razed White Building have now agreed to compensation offers from the Ministry of Land Management, after 71 more families accepted the offer of $1,400 per square metre yesterday. In all, 493 families live in the building, which was designed in 1963 as a low-cost housing project.

Minister Chea Sophara told residents on Friday that $1,400 per square metre would be the highest offer from Japanese firm Arakawa Co, which is developing a 21-storey mixed-use structure at the site.

White Building residents look at the streets as it rains yesterday in Phnom Penh.
White Building residents look at the streets as it rains yesterday in Phnom Penh. Heng Chivoan

Hue Chenda, deputy director at the ministry’s Housing Department, said in all 262 families have agreed to compensation, adding that such processes tend to see an initial surge of willing signatories but then often slow down.

Nhem Sovan, a village chief of the building, said he expected 90 percent of residents under his jurisdiction to sign up for the offer, but expected those on the ground floor, with smaller plots, to hold out given the small payout they would receive.

Mean Phirum, who signed the agreement yesterday, said the price offered by the ministry was fair and that he already owned a plot of land where he can relocate.

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