Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - After seven years, 240 finally opens



After seven years, 240 finally opens

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Ms. Elain Younn, director of 240 apartment

After seven years, 240 finally opens

This evening finally sees the grand opening of The 240 Phnom Penh Apartments, on Street 240.

Under construction for nearly seven years, The 240, as it is better known, has faced a host of challenges, including regulatory issues, and even diplomatic obstacles. The building’s owner, local business powerhouse Elain Younn, says one of the bigger hurdles came from the US government itself.

“One time we had to stop building because the US Embassy had some security concerns – [the building] overlooks the US ambassador’s residence - and so we had to try and find a way to work together,” she said.

While this impediment initially appeared taxing, in the end, Younn says the US-inspired delay made the apartment building even better.

“They were very accommodating in the end. It was obvious that we did pose a security issue, because we’re next door, so they gave us guidelines on how to make it acceptable to them. And now the US Embassy is working with us, and there is quite a number of staff from the embassy living here now,” she said.

By current Phnom Penh standards, The 240 is not a big building, with only seven storeys and 42 apartments. But working with the US Embassy meant that Younn built the apartments to comply with US-standard building codes, which include precise specifications on everything from foundation, wall, and roof construction, to interior finishes and safety standards.

“At the moment we’re the only [apartment] building in Cambodia that has complied with US safety guidelines,” Younn says.

“We’ve got the full fire-sprinkler system, cameras, smoke alarms, emergency staircases, the height of the railings: everything on the long list you have to comply with, we have done.”

Prices range from $1,800 a month for a one-bedroom duplex to $4,500 for a four-bedroom penthouse. And the apartments come with a full range of amenities that includes a gym, an infinity swimming pool, two bars, a café, housekeeping, laundry service and underground car parking, as well as, unusually, a healing space, which offers yoga and crystal bowl sound healing, interplay and meditation.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The 240, on Street 240, opens today. Photo supplied

Younn is involved in a range of businesses in Cambodia, including Living IChing Décor, the iCAN British International School, Bliss Spa and restaurants Luna and Mama Wong’s, as well as being behind several charities. But she says more property development probably doesn’t loom large in her future.

“I don’t think it’s a very good time to do property at the moment, because there are too many condos being developed, and I think there are too many compared to the level of demand.”

She adds that she really only got into property development because of her affection for Street 240. “This project happened by chance: I didn’t set out to develop a property. I loved this street, and when I saw the original designs for this building by the original landowner, it was not really good for the street, so that compelled me to do something that lifts up the area.”

Younn says that she has not found it particularly difficult to be a woman in the male-oriented work of Phnom Penh property development. “I feel that women are actually very respected in Cambodia, it’s a matriarchal society; women are the ones who lead.”

“But, on the other hand, you do have a lot of men in power who you have to work with and that can be a bit of a challenge, but for me, I’ve learned to work with that,” she added.

Younn says that tonight’s party is partly to show her pride in the apartment building, and to celebrate her accomplishments.

While the party is meant to acknowledge and honour the obstacles the building has overcome, it also aims to turn the page on a development that unwittingly fell into the public sphere amidst heightened US security concerns.

“[It shows] what we’ve done and what we’ve been through, and I just think we need to have closure with the public, because everyone has known about this building.”

While she thanked everyone for their ongoing support, she added: “We’ve all been through a lot together in the public eye. Now, we really have finished.”

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • Nestle’s debut may spur dairy market

    Leading confectionery manufacturer Nestle plans to invest in Cambodia by setting up an operation in the near future, a move majorly hailed by local dairy farmers as a means of boosting the fresh milk market in the Kingdom. During a visit by a delegation led

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement