Cambodia’s controversial building to be finished by 2019
Construction of berated $240-million project Gold Tower 42 will resume early next year and is expected to finish by the end of 2019, according to an announcement made by the developer yesterday.
The project, developed by Yon Woo Cambodia, began in 2008 and has already been delayed three times: first in 2009, following the global financial crisis, and again in 2012. Construction resumed in 2013 and then stopped again in March last year. Despite these postponements the tower has reached 31 floors.
Yon Woo Cambodia – the company that owns the building – reached an agreement yesterday with Shenzhen Hongtao Decoration and Waiman Construction & Engineering to complete the project.
Kim Tae Yeon, president and chairman of Yon Woo Cambodia, told reporters after signing the agreement that the company will begin construction in early 2018 and complete the project by the end of 2019.
“I promise Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Cambodian people that the project will be ready by the end of 2019,” he said.
“We will start selling units once the building is finished. We are confident it will be successful,” he said.
Gold Tower 42 is a multi-purpose commercial centre with five floors of underground parking space, three floors of retail space, nine floors of offices and 399 condominium units.
“We have already invested $100 million and we will spend another $140 million to finish,” Kim Tae Yeon said.
Seng Lot, spokesman for the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC), told Khmer Times that the company submitted a request to resume construction of Gold Tower 42 in September, planning to take construction up again within the following six months.
Mr Lot said the ministry is urging the company to begin construction as soon as possible.
“We want the company to finish the building as early as possible. We don’t want this situation to continue as it is any longer,” Mr Lot said.
He said a clear signal has been sent to investors not to allow project to sit idle because of the effect this has on buyers.
“Hopefully this teach a lesson to other investors: don’t leave your projects half-done,” Mr Lot said.
Originally, two construction companies were involved in the project: Hanil Engineering & Construction and Yon Woo Cambodia. A dispute between the firms went to arbitration in 2012, with Hanil eventually being ordered to pay $30 million in compensation to Yon Woo Cambodia by the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board.
Chrek Soknim, CEO of Mekong Century21, doubted that, despite the latest announcement, construction would resume.
“I’m not sure the project will finish. The government has to solve this problem because a vacant building in the centre of the city is not a good sign for the property sector,” Mr Soknim said.
“It is a long-term investment. If they restart, it will make real estate investors more confident,” he added.
Po Eavkong, managing director of Asia Real Estate Cambodia, told Khmer Times that he also held doubts on whether or not the project would start again. “It has been postponed several times. I’m not sure it will resume this time.”