The Sokha Hotel Company, part of the Sokimex Group, said it will invest in the construction of 1,989 villas this year on the top of Bokor Mountain, outside Kampot - a resort popular with local and international tourists.
Teng Rithy, sales and marketing manager at Sokha Property, said that the project will start after the road infrastructure is completed, in the near future. He noted that the new casino and hotel investment project is now finished and the infrastructure is being organized to be able to construct good-quality villas. “Eighty per cent of the organized road infrastructure has been completed,” he said.
Teng Rithy said that the land chosen for the villas covers 478 hectares. Each villa will occupy between 600 to 1,000 square metres, but prices have yet to be fixed; more than 400 families have reportedly indicated an interest.
“Tourists are important, leading the project of selling and renting houses, so that the company has decided to invest in more houses. The construction of the villas is for customers to stay and rest in only, and investment in this type of apartment does not exist yet,” he said.
Rithy added that now the project is at the stage of studying a master plan and the completion date of the project is not clear yet, as it is related to market demand: if demand is high, the project will be finished quickly.
“There, it is a good location with fine weather and about 50 types of recreation all people wish for, especially wealthy persons who want to spend weekends there,” he said.
He continued that when the project is finished, it will provide Kampot with a resort, hotel, houses, recreation and infrastructure like other modern cities of good quality covering thousands of square metres.
Sung Bonna, director of Bonna Realty Group and president of Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agent Association (CVEA), said that the project, named Popork Vil, is a large investment for Cambodia.
“The project is the only one in Cambodia; it is an attractive investment, but unless the company must make more development to attract national and international tourists, namely it needs more time, patience and more capital,” he said.
Bonna said that so far his company has only received application forms to help seek customers. “Currently we are waiting for the project to be developed; we start selling later - it is now undergoing infrastructure work: the price of land for constructing houses is US$250 per square metre.”
Cheng Kheng, managing director of CPL Cambodia Property Limited, said that all project owners have different targets to choose locations to invest Popork Vil - the project is in a location rich in tourists, each of whom enjoys the idea of living in a natural environment, with fresh air, on the top of the mountain.
He continued that although the investment project is big, it is located in a place flooded with tourists and the real estate market in Cambodia is not as broad as in developed countries so Cambodia needs demand from foreign customers, as the country cannot focus on local customers only.
He added that US secretary of state Hillary Clinton recently came to Cambodia bringing more than 100 investment companies looking for opportunities.
Kampot provincial governor Khouy Khunhour said that the project of investment in the top of Bokor Mountain has priority to attract more national and international tourists.
“The project of Bokor Mountain development is working; visitors increased 180 per cent this year: in 2011 there were a total of 370,000 tourists. But the total number of tourists in the first quarter rose to 610,000- the growth shows that the investment project there can win support of all the visitors,” he said.
Environmental NGOs in Cambodia contacted by Post Property were unable to comment on the proposed project, which is within a national park.