Executive Vice President Charles Vann says bank employees expect to begin occupying lower floors next month as tenants are sought for upper levels
Photo by: SOVAN PHILONG
Workers (left) stand on the roof of the Canadia Tower bank building on Tuesday. Bank officials estimate that construction should conclude by year’s end, with bank staff to begin occupying lower floors in September.
CANADIA Tower is not expected to fully open until the end of the year, the bank's executive vice president said Monday.
Charles Vann told the Post that banking staff would likely move into the lower two floors in September, the original scheduled deadline for the 27-floor development.
"We will try to have it fully completed by the end of this year," he said, at which time there would be a grand opening.
Vann said that the economic crisis had not delayed the project, as it has numerous other construction developments in Cambodia when the downturn began late last year.
Overall, however, the project has been time-consuming, he said. In May 2005, Canadia started working on the foundations, the first stage, which required extensive work given Phnom Penh's infamously soft, riverside ground.
With the completion date just a few months away, Canadia Bank says it is now finding tenants for the tower.
Canadia is assessing potential clients to occupy shopping units on the first three above-ground floors, Vann said. It plans to select high-end retailers in a bid to maintain the tower's status as a luxury development - the structure will also features a helipad and a banking managers' clubhouse at its very top.
Questions still remain as to whether Canadia Tower will play any part in Cambodia's forthcoming stock exchange.
Architectural plans for the development allocate the second level to a trading floor, and Vann said that Canadia Bank would still be open to the idea of housing the fledgling bourse should the Ministry of Economy and Finance decide to locate it in the city centre.
South Korea's World City Co Ltd is finalising designs for a four-storey stock exchange building at Camko City on the outskirts of the capital, but that development won't be completed until the end of next year at the earliest, at least 12 months after Canadia Tower.
Should the government decide to house the exchange elsewhere, Vann said the space allocated at Canadia Tower can easily be converted to offices, which will make up the bulk of the tower - 11 floors in total.
The depressed property market should not unduly affect demand or prices for the tower's office and retail units, Vann said, which will be rented for US$18 to $25 per square metre per month.