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Private company invests in public underground parking lot

Workers have been hard at work on the site since January 2016.
Workers have been hard at work on the site since January 2016. Moeun Nhean

Private company invests in public underground parking lot

With the lack of parking spaces long plaguing Phnom Penh, the private sector has taken it upon itself to alleviate one of the biggest problems the capital city is facing.

Touch Samnang, deputy chief executive of Overseas Cambodian Investment Corporation (OCIC), said the firm was waiting to unveil the first underground parking space designed for the masses. “According to the momentum of the construction and our progress, we might be able to commemorate the opening of the first underground public parking space within the next one to two months,” he told Post Property. Currently, he added, OCIC is waiting for City Hall to organise the roads around the area.

The parking lot space underground between Canadia Tower and Vattanac Capital is the first of its kind for the public in Cambodia.
The parking lot space underground between Canadia Tower and Vattanac Capital is the first of its kind for the public in Cambodia. Moeun Nhean

This debut project is situated between Canadia Tower and Vattanac Capital, and, according to OCIC’s site manager Rith Ravin, has completed almost 90 percent of construction since January of last year. “What remains to be done is to put the finishing touches on the park above the parking space, and we can finish everything by the end of July,” he said.

This first ever public underground parking lot will measure 8,704 square metres spanning two levels, and seven metres in height. It has the capacity for up to 310 cars and hundreds of motorbikes, with an entrance adjacent to Street 77.

“This parking space will provide convenience to the locals living and working in this area, who have always had difficulties parking,” Ravin added.

According to Ravin, there is sufficient lighting on every floor, coupled with a security camera system, proper parking markings, climbing stairs at two ends, and vehicle pathway that will be elevated at 10 degrees.

In the case of electrical blackouts, automatic LED lights will be activated, whereas flood preventions have been taken in the form of an automatic water absorption system. “All in all,” said Ravin, “the company has equipped the place with every prevention method against all sorts of risks – in short, it has optimum safety.”

Initially slated to cost $4 million, the project’s investment outlay has now clocked up to almost $7 million.

Above the lot is space reserved for a park.
Above the lot is space reserved for a park. Photo supplied

While this OCIC initiative marks the first underground parking lot made available to the public, a second one is still under construction at Vattanac Capital, with a third one speculated to be built as a joint cooperative between City Hall and foreign companies.

City Hall spokesman Met Measpheakdey told Post Property that City Hall was currently cooperating on a study with a group of foreign experts for “a Malaysian company to build another underground public parking space under the park situated between Streets 106 and 108 near the Night Market”.

As for the traffic congestion problems along Phnom Penh inner city roads, Measpheakdey said: “Phnom Penh City Hall, together with a group of experts are currently trying to find possible routes in which we can establish crosswalks, underground pathways, and highways in many locations across the city; however, we can’t disclose any information since the matter is still under study."

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