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Developer has big plans for prime riverfront land

A view of a pier used by private boats on Phnom Penh’s riverfront.
A view of a pier used by private boats on Phnom Penh’s riverfront. Sreng Meng Srun

Developer has big plans for prime riverfront land

A prominent Chinese developer has designs on the capital’s riverside, where it hopes to build a strip of luxury condominiums and office towers on land currently occupied by the capital’s state-run river port.

Guangzhou Yuetai Group, a Chinese real estate developer whose projects in Cambodia include East One and East View, has confirmed that it has a project to develop a 9.25 hectare sliver of land adjacent to the Tonle Sap river. Its proposed Harbour Bay development could see the construction of 24 high-rise buildings along the riverbank from the Chroy Changvar bridge as far south as the Night Market, according to a concept drawing of the project.

A concept drawing of Yuetai Group’s proposed Harbour Bay project. Facebook
A concept drawing of Yuetai Group’s proposed Harbour Bay project. Facebook

Almost half of the land earmarked for development is currently under the management of listed state port operator Phnom Penh Autonomous Port (PPAP), while the other part includes a paved walkway where private riverboats dock.

Contacted yesterday, a representative of Yuetai Group’s local office confirmed the existence of the Harbour Bay project, but declined to provide details on the project, or indicate whether the company had secured the land.

It remains unclear whether the government has already approved or concluded the sale of the land to Yuetai Group, and officials contacted declined to comment on the matter.

A royal decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen and released in the first quarter of 2018’s royal book, reclassifies a 9.25 hectare plot of state-public land corresponding to the location of the Harbour Bay project as state-private land. The decree assigns the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and the Ministry of Economy and Finance responsibility for managing the land, which under its new classification could be leased to private developers.

The action would appear to be aimed at preparing the land for sale to Yue Tai, whose interest in the riverfront real estate dates back much further.

An artist’s impression of the Harbour Bay towers. Facebook
An artist’s impression of the Harbour Bay towers. Facebook

In November 2017, Yuetai Group created a Facebook page for Harbour Bay project, posting concept drawings that show a row of residential and commercial towers, as well as a private marina. The drawings depict tightly packed buildings, each over 30 storeys tall, with several built on top of what appears to be a multi-level retail plaza.

Ann Thida, country director of real estate firm CBRE Cambodia, said to the best of her knowledge the Harbour Bay project was still only a proposal.

“Yue Tai has yet to finish the master plan of the project and therefore no details have been released regarding this project,” she said. “However, one will hear more details of the project after the company finishes the master plan.”

According to Cheam Samnang, CEO of Lucky Property Service, land prices along the street between the Chroy Changvar bridge and the Night Market are valued at between $3,500 and $6,000 per square metre.

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