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High hopes for city’s new tower

High hopes for city’s new tower

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The 22-storey Phnom Penh Tower, which is due to open at the end of this month or at the start of next month, already has 40 percent of its space rented out. Photo by: WILL BAXTER

WORK on the US$60 million Phnom Penh Tower should be finished at the end of April, an official from the South Korean developer has said.

“We already completed 95 percent [of the tower],” said Hong Youvoin, Marketing Manager of Hyundai Amco Co, late last week. “We’re preparing the grand opening ceremony for the end of this month or beginning next month.”

The 22-storey skyscraper, a commercial office space set on Phnom Penh’s Monivong Boulevard, is just one of a number of towers now being constructed across the capital’s skyline. Although some – such as Gold Tower 42 – have halted construction, Phnom Penh Tower should be finished by the end of the month, according to Hong Youvoin.

He noted that since the beginning of the year demand for office space has increased, with a lot of new investors coming from Vietnam, France and South Korea.

“We have already rented 40 percent [of the building to] international firms in banking, auditing consulting, airlines, embassies and especially real estate companies,” said Hong Youvoin, who declined to name the firms for reasons of confidentiality.

Rents in the tower will average US$19 per square metre he said, adding that he hopes the tower’s occupancy rate will reach between 50 percent to 60 percent by 2012.

Sung Bonna, President and CEO of Bonna Realty Group and President of the National Valuers’ Association of Cambodia, said he believed the tower was situated in the right location to attract clients.

“In this year, we have noted that occupancy rates increased because a lot of investors came to the Kingdom,” he said.

He claimed that Cambodia’s property market in the first quarter of this year has been good compared with the same period last year, adding that there have been double the transactions since January 1.

Occupancy is at about 75 percent at the 14 Grade B buildings in the capital, according to the National Valuers’ Association. Sung Bonna said the price of rental office space in Grade A offices is between $20 and $30 per square metre, while Grade B has fetched between $10 and $20 per square metre.

There are nearly 40,000 square metres of Grade A office space in Phnom Penh, Sung Bonna said, with another 30,000 square metres expected to come on line in the next three months. Now there are 10,000 square metres of Grade B office space in the city.

Sung Bonna also said that when Cambodia’s stock exchange opens this summer it will boost demand for office space and, as a result, lift prices.

“Many investors will come to our country to invest here,” he said.

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