Q and A with Mr. Andrew J. Ahn, CEO of The Scarlet Sihanoukville Co. Ltd.
The Scarlet is generating plenty of curiosity and interest. Can you explain what makes this project so unique?
Andrew J. Ahn: We will be the first luxury condominium project to be completed in Sihanoukville. We are also the first to introduce a luxury timeshare membership option for buyers of our customized suites through our partnerships with the world’s most exclusive vacation and resort networks.
The Scarlet will be fully complete by the end of 2018, after two months of preopening operation. It will rise to 32 floors and include fully serviced offices, valet parking and a club lounge, while offering a level and variety of services and amenities currently unavailable in Sihanoukville.
We have worked more than one year on developing our design, partnerships, network and brand to meet market demand for vacation homes and fully-serviced offices. This process generated a great deal of interest even before we began advertising.
Why are you launching in Sihanoukville?
Andrew J. Ahn: Our research, as well as research conducted by regional and global firms, shows the surge of tourism and business activity in Sihanoukville is just beginning. It is already the fastest growing town in the Gulf of Thailand. Improving connectivity to Phnom Penh via highways as well as increasing traffic at Sihanoukville International Airport will see this accelerate.
The surge of domestic and international tourists is fuelling rising demand for top-end accommodations and office space. We are also seeing a significant rise in business travellers as well as the emergence of more domestic buyers seeking vacation homes that elevate their lifestyle.
The project’s multifaceted appeal allows it to capture all of these emerging niches. We are, in fact, already planning two more projects in the town: The Scarlet 2 and The Scarlet 3.
Who are your primary buyers?
Andrew J. Ahn: Cambodia’s property market is shifting. More institutional buyers are arriving and those already here are taking a longer view. We have been, of course, in detailed talks with them throughout the planning process and this is why enthusiasm is rising. We are now scheduling road shows to Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Australia, Europe and the US.
There is also a timeshare membership option for buyers. Can you explain how this works?
Andrew J. Ahn: We are offering a luxury time share membership option for buyers. This allows them to recoup their investment swiftly by selling timeshare memberships in one of the most sought after holiday destinations in Cambodia. Their return on investment can surpass 50 percent within two years. Buyers can sell up to 24 annual two-week time share memberships for their suites, while keeping two weeks for themselves. (Another two weeks are reserved for maintenance.)
Those who purchase a timeshare membership will enjoy their own vacation home for less than $20 a night, with the price remaining unchanged during the 35-year contract. Owners and timeshare members can also rent their suites at daily rates, which provide another promising revenue stream due to the acute shortage of top-end luxury suites in the town. Furthermore, unused timeshares can be exchanged or traded, allowing members and owners to enjoy vacations at more than 3,000 luxury resorts around the globe through our worldwide partnership networks.
Who is behind the project and when will construction begin?
Andrew J. Ahn: We are a joint venture company with property sales, development, marketing and financing expertise, as well as along track record of success in Cambodia and international markets, including the US, Singapore, Korea and Vietnam. We have the strongest sales reach within Cambodia as well as deep links to institutional and individual buyers outside the Kingdom. We are also working with top-tier architectural, engineering,construction and property-management firms.
Clearing of the site in Sihanoukville is underway. Construction is scheduled to begin in December 2016 and to be completed by the end of 2018. Besides generating significant employment through both direct and indirect jobs, our corporate social responsibility program will allow us to invest further in the swiftly developing town. We intend to be more than a market leader.