The property sector in Phnom Penh east of the Bassac river is expected to grow after the government green-lighted the construction of a bridge across the river linking Koh Pich to the Koh Norea peninsula in Chbar Ampov district’s Niroth commune.

Real estate experts are not only optimistic that the plan for the new bridge will help traffic flows, but that it will also inject some momentum into local real estate.

A letter sent by Phnom Penh Municipal Hall to Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth – signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng – said local conglomerate Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation (OCIC) had received approval in principle from the government to develop the Koh Norea area.

The company will build a cable-stayed bridge connecting the Koh Pich – also known as Diamond Island – to the Koh Norea development project.

When completed, the bridge is expected to ease traffic congestion at the Monivong Bridge, which crosses the Bassac river further south and connects Monivong Boulevard in the capital’s Chamkarmon district with National Road 1 in Chbar Ampov district to the east.

OCIC is proposing a policy of importing equipment and machinery worth $40,888,580 with the state picking up the tax tab.

Towncity Real Estate Co Ltd CEO Van ‘John’ Chanthorn told The Post on Wednesday that the bridge would not only reduce traffic congestion but also boost the real estate sector in the Vietnamese enclave of Koh Norea village and the entire Chbar Ampov district.

He said it has the potential to attract investment in the real estate sector, especially for the construction of large scale projects linked to the riverfront.

“Normally areas with better real estate markets are more populated and have good infrastructure, as well as safe and diverse services provided.

“Even though the Koh Norea area stands to improve a lot with the construction of the bridge from Koh Pich, I believe that the real estate sector will change dramatically.

“The bridge connection will move it closer to the centre of Phnom Penh, so property prices will increase accordingly,” said Chanthorn.

He said the bridge will bring more ambitious commercial centres and other construction projects to the area, not unlike those on Koh Pich.

Keller Williams (KW) Sen Sok regional operation principal and Sam Sn Realty Co Ltd president Sam Soknoeun said: “There is not a lot of development now, but with the new bridge, real estate prices in Koh Norea would jump because it’d become a beautiful satellite town adjacent to the heart of Phnom Penh.”

Soknoeun said real estate along the Koh Norea peninsula’s coastline is currently worth more than $1,000 per sqm while properties further inland can cost between $100 and $500 per sqm.

OCIC deputy director Touch Samnang declined to comment on bridge construction plans, but he recently told local media that OCIC plans to transform Koh Norea into a luxurious commercial development stretching over approximately 100ha.

He said the company has previously studied two options to link Koh Pich and Koh Norea – a bridge estimated to cost around $60 million and a second option, which is a $200 million subway under the Bassac river.

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