Korea’s Lotte to build Vietnam’s answer to Canary Wharf
Korean conglomerate Lotte Group has been chosen to develop a 74,500-sq-m “smart city” in the southeast of Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam.
The development will be on the 657ha Thu Thiem New Urban Area, located in a loop of the Saigon River, which the city is planning to launch as a leisure destination and financial hub in the mould of London’s Docklands.
The construction value of the scheme will be $820m, not counting the purchase value of the land.
Lotte was chosen by the City’s People’s Committee. Nguyen Thanh Phong, the chairman of the committee, Shin Dong Bin, the chairman of Lotte, signed the agreement 25 July.
Phong applauded Lotte’s record of investment in Vietnam, and added that the group’s products, which include everything from fast food to electronics, had made it a well-known brand in the country, local media report.
The final agreement was a reward for Lotte’s persistence in dealing with Vietnamese bureaucracy: the group first received provisional approval for the development in 2014.
Construction will begin as early as next quarter and is expected to complete in 2023. The district will include a trading floor for banks and brokers, a banking centre, hotels, an office tower and residential buildings. The remaining 24,000 sq m will be used for roads and other infrastructure. The plan is to make the area a smart eco city.
Lotte will be licensed to run Thu Thiem for 50 years. Affiliates such as Lotte Asset Development, Lotte Shopping, Hotel Lotte and Lotte Engineering & Construction will participate in the project.
The developer is paying for and building some of the infrastructure.
Thu Thiem was one of the most densely settled areas of Ho Chi Minh City before clearances began in 2002 to make way for a financial hub. Some 15,000 households were moved over the course of the next 10 years. The new city will be filled with buildings of between 10 and 40 storeys, and will be connected to the rest of the city by several bridges and a six-lane tunnel.