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Diamond Island complex reveals towering ambitions

When Diamond Island Riviera is completed it will comprise five massive structures.
When Diamond Island Riviera is completed it will comprise five massive structures. Hong Menea

Diamond Island complex reveals towering ambitions

Construction of the luxury Diamond Island Riviera residential project on Koh Pich is under way after a groundbreaking ceremony last month.

The Western-themed, all-modern residential project – a $700 million joint-venture between the Overseas Chinese Investment Company (OCIC) and Chinese Jixiang Investment – is just one of many popping up in the Greater Phnom Penh area.

Chen Hok, Riviera project manager and engineer, said that the Chinese company had built accommodation for staff and construction workers, before initiating construction of two 28-storey skyscrapers, although he said they would be just two of five tall buildings when the project was completed.

According to Hok, construction of Building B was already under way, while construction of building A would start soon. The three remaining buildings would be even taller, with 38 storeys, and featuring 200-metre-long rooftop swimming pools.

Construction of these buildings would start in 2015, he said.

“The first two buildings will be finished in October, 2015.

Hok attributed the speed of construction to the fact that workers would be working night and day in shifts.

Meanwhile, as part of the overall project, 36 apartments have already been completed and another 68 apartments will be finished in the middle of this year, according to Hok.

He added that a shopping complex at the centre of the project will would be ready later this year. The seven-storey shopping complex will also feature a cinema.

Hok said the shopping complex would be divided into two joined buildings – one of them five storeys and the other seven storeys – and would have parking space for 1,400 cars.

Banh Suly, sales manager of the project, said that sales were progressing, with clients coming from a variety of nations, but she added that most were Chinese purchasing condominiums.

Suly declined to reveal actual percentage breakdowns of nationalities due to company confidentiality. The buildings comprise 600 units, which are priced at around $2,000 per square metre, she said.

Po Eav Kong, general manager of Asia Real Estate Company, said that, according to his information, the project has sold well, but he said no hard numbers were available.

Diamond Island’s location has proven a valuable asset in selling the project due to its desirable living environment, fresh air and the fact it was surrounded by the rivers, he said.

The $2,000-per-square-metre price tag might be affordable for some foreign clients, but he said it seemed high for Cambodians.

“There are challenges ahead in the residential market,” he said, adding that apartments were popular with foreigners, making it important to maintain economic progress and attract more foreign homebuyers to Cambodia.

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