More than 430 of the 493 families who formerly resided in Phnom Penh’s White Building have vacated the premises, but around 15 families have yet to accept compensation packages for their apartments, according to a Land Management Ministry official.
The building is slated to be demolished and replaced by a 21-storey structure constructed by Japanese firm Arakawa Co. Hue Chenda, deputy director for the Land Management Ministry’s Housing Department, said the holdouts wanted more than the $1,400 per square metre on offer for their dilapidated apartment units, which he likened to secondhand ‘sleeping mats’.
“If it is a golden mat, then it is OK. But they want to sell a ruined mat to buy a villa,” he said yesterday. “But what we can say is that they are greedy.”
Starting June 6, families began to pack up their belongings and move to new homes across the city. While the ministry originally set a July 6 deadline for the move, Chenda yesterday said it had been extended to July 20.