Decades after it was designated a development zone by Lon Nol’s Khmer Republic government, the commune of Phnom Penh Thmey is attracting growing interest while prices push upward.
This commune in the city’s western Sen Sok district is viewed by many real estate experts in the capital as an up-and-coming part of town.
Asia Real Estate Cambodia managing director Po Eavkong said that good location and good infrastructure make Phnom Penh Thmey attractive to investors. Its original Khmer Republic development plan interrupted by war, the commune is now receiving much attention from municipal authorities, who are relocating offices there and putting in wide roads to access the large plots of land in the area.
“Recently the city administration has relocated to Phnom Penh Thmey and if the state authority moves its offices to an area, that means they will build infrastructure in that area,” he said.
“If you compare Phnom Penh Thmey commune with other suburbs on the outskirts of the city, Phnom Penh Thmey’s development is moving faster than the others,” he added. “The Phnom Penh Thmey area has many new residential areas popping up.”
One of these new developments will be built by New World Group and will be home to 5,000 apartments as well as a shopping mall and entertainment complex.
Bonna Realty Group general manager Noun Rithy said more urban development and improved infrastructure will attract more people to live in Phnom Penh Thmey. He noted that banks and international schools would add to the area’s appeal. Currently, land prices on main roads run from $400 to $1,200 per square metre. On smaller streets, prices range from $200 to $300 per square metre.
“Phnom Penh Thmey’s development is picking up quickly due to good infrastructure and its close proximity to Tuol Kork,” he said. “This year, land prices in Phnom Penh Thmey increased 50 per cent compared with 2012, while offices, banks, and schools have been moving in,” he said.\
VTrust Group president and CEO Kuy Vat was less optimistic. He said the area faces strong competition from other developments on the city’s fringes in Meanchey district’s Prek Pra and Niroth communes as well as in western Phnom Penh.
“The area in Phnom Penh Thmey commune is not so attractive because it floods often and land prices there are higher than in other areas on the outskirts of the city,” he said.
Sen Sok district chief Ly Savet said the municipal government has a plan to develop the north and recently construction has begun on two drainage systems. A pump station will be built to transfer water into Kob Srov lake next year. By 2104, Phnom Penh Thmey and Street 598 (Chea Sophara Road) will not be flooded again, he said.
“The Phnom Penh Thmey area has more development than the other communes in Sen Sok district because this area has good roads and and sewage systems and is at north of the city, which does not have pollution at the same levels of the rest of the city,” he said. “I think medium- and high-income residents will move to this area more in the future because the infrastructure resembles Tuol Kok.”