Building big at Pearl City

Building big at Pearl City

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A security guard walks past houses at the Pearl City Asia development project, in Preah Sihanouk province. Photo by: Heng Chivoan

Preah Sihanouk Province
WORK is continuing on the huge Pearl City Asia project at Sihan-oukville, according to the developer of the project.

Thai Boon Roong Company, which also owns the Intercontinental Hotel in Phnom Penh, plans to build a mix of more than a thousand residences served by a shopping mall, a school and a hospital.

The company will also build hotels on the 62-hectare site, which sits in Mittapheap district, near Sokha Beach.

The project had begun in 2009 and completion was expected in 2014, project manager Tous Saphan said.

The fact that construction had begun at the height of the global financial crisis in 2009 did not deter Thai Boon Roong, he said.

“Even though the world economic downturn hit our project and affected sales, we never postponed anything,” Tous Sophan said. “We pushed ahead with the project, and expect to finish it on schedule.”

Tous Saphan said US$600 million would eventually be spent constructing the three phases of Pearl City Asia.

The first phase includes 1,199 homes and the shopping mall, with 261 homes, including villas and flats, built so far.

There are also plans to build condominiums and apartments on the site.

“If we have more demand, we will increase our supply [of homes],” Tous Saphan said.

Pearl City Asia sales and marketing executive Meun Sopheap noted an uptick in sales this year, following the property bust in 2009.

Forty-two homes built during the first phase had been sold for between $240,000 and $285,000, Meun Sopheap said.

“Last year was quiet. But we’ve seen our sales improve slightly compared to then,” she said, adding that most clients were Khmers from Sihan-oukville and Phnom Penh.

“We hope that in the next year, sales will increase as the  property market recovers.”   

Total home sales in Cambodia for the first six months of 2011 had doubled year-on-year, Cambodia Properties Limited managing director Cheng Kheng said.

“We saw that there were a lot of investors coming from Sing-apore, Malaysia, Vietnam and China,” he said, adding that Pearl City Asia was well situated to attract clients.

Officials expect Thai Boon Roong’s project to have positive effects on Sihanoukville, including job creation, economic growth and infrastructure development, as well as  further investment in the area.

“Despite the world economic crisis hitting Cambodia’s construction sector, some foreign and local developers have continued with their projects,”  Lao Tip Seiha, director of the Department of Construction at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, said.

“We hope that this year, local and foreign developers will invest more and more.”

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