Ground broken on first-of-its-kind development on Vietnam border

Ground broken on first-of-its-kind development on Vietnam border

The developer behind a $20 million housing project near the Vietnam border has finally kicked off construction more than three years after the project was initially due to start.

Khmer Real Estate Co Marketing Manager Kim Heang said work began at the end of June on the Bavet commune project, 500 metres from the border.

"We have postponed it for a long time, so we don't want to waste anymore time," he said. "We expect to finish 20 [units] by the end of this year."
Delays were compounded by the onset of the global financial crisis last year and the collapse of the Kingdom's property market around the same time, which saw purchases of land and new housing fall almost to zero, Kim Heang said.

We have postponed it for a long time, so we don't want to waste anymore time.

The project was now due to be completed by June 2012, but the new economic reality had resulted in a new approach to finding buyers, he added.
Instead of targeting only the rich and high-ranking Cambodians, Khmer Real Estate was repositioning the offering to attract the middle classes. "We focus on anyone who has money to buy our land and houses," he said. "First we wanted to catch only the big fish but now are trying to catch all, even small shrimp."
The project was being marketed as the country's first housing project at the border, and the company was also planning to build a shopping centre to create business and job opportunities.

National Valuers Association of Cambodia President Sung Bonna said developments near the country's borders had good economic potential,
"Every country is the same. They need development, especially at border areas," he said, adding the project was likely to attract both domestic and foreign buyers.

Foreigners are currently barred from buying property outright in Cambodia. The government has for a long time been considering a rule change to allow foreign ownership, but senior government figures have made it clear that any rule change is unlikely to apply in border areas.

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