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Even more commercial spaces set to open in capital

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Heavy equipment on the site of Aeon Mall 2, which opened last month. Hong Menea

Even more commercial spaces set to open in capital

Phnom Penh is set to welcome 11 additional retail outlets this year, bringing the total area to 370,000 square metres – up from 220,000 last year, said industry insiders.

Ann Sothida, the director at CBRE Cambodia, a property valuer, said on Wednesday investment in Cambodia’s retail spaces is gradually increasing as people begin to earn higher wages.

“The investment in [retail spaces like] supermarkets is more profitable, but it requires flexibility in terms of market conditions,” she said, stressing that most investments required restructuring within 10 years.

The retail spaces to be opened this year include Midtown Community Mall, The Bridge Commercial, Downtown 93, The Park, Noro Mall, Prince Central Plaza and Olympia Plaza Mall.

Se Vichith, the business development manager at Eden Garden, a retail space in Phnom Penh City Center, said that despite the fact that the location had yet to be inaugurated, it has been fully taken up.

“Because we are in a good location, The Eden Garden has been completely leased out. Investment in retail spaces can be very successful if the location is appropriate and beautifully designed,” he said.

CBRE Cambodia’s previous report predicted that as of this year, about 29 percent of Phnom Penh’s retail space would be in Sen Sok district.

It said the districts of Chamkarmon would have 26 percent of retail space, while Tuol Kork would have 19 percent, Chbar Ampov (13 percent), Daun Penh and Mean Chey (6 percent) and 7 Makara district (1 percent).

Noun Rithy, the president and CEO of Khmer Foundation Appraisals Company, said the growing shopping culture is a response to Cambodia’s economic growth, especially within the tourism sector.

“Having more retail shops is a good sign for Cambodia and the number will further increase,” he said.

According to Rithy, most major retail spaces in the Kingdom are backed by foreign investors.

Currently there are many commercial spaces in the construction phase, such as PH Eco Mall and Diamond of Borey Peng Huoth Development Co’s project.

A third location by the popular Japanese-backed Aeon Mall is reportedly about to break ground south of Phnom Penh.

Modern megamalls such as Aeon, which opened in 2014, have forced some of the capital’s older malls to update their design and services.

The former Sorya Mall, which was the first in Phnom Penh when it opened in 2003, reopened last December after a $5 million renovation.

Rebranded as Sorya Centre Point, the eight-storey retail complex was revamped to broaden its appeal to local and international shoppers who have more options than when it first opened 15 years ago.

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