Buildings Near Palace to Be Partially Demolished

Phnom Penh municipal governor Pa Socheatvong maintained Wednesday that the city would partially demolish two buildings near the Royal Palace because they exceed the height limit stated in their contracts, though he did not specify when the demolition would occur.

“We will take action soon. We will not allow for the buildings’ owners to [get away with this] because it is a government order,” Mr. Socheatvong said. “You will see in the near future that we will implement [the partial demolition], but I cannot tell you the exact date.”

On November 21, Mr. Socheatvong granted a 10-day extension after the original 30-day deadline expired.

One building, owned by Vattanac Properties, is on Sisowath Quay, and the other, owned by a local businessman, is in an alley off Street 19 behind the Royal University of Fine Arts.

In its contract, the Vattanac building was allowed to be built to 14 meters in height, but surpassed 20 meters, and the other building, which will be a hotel, was allotted 24.5 meters, but is now more than 34.5 meters.

Since the notice was issued in late October, construction on the Vattanac building has stopped, but work has continued on the other building.

Sin Kim Heng, the owner of the building on Street 19, said Wednesday that upon hearing the news in October that part of his building would be demolished, his wife immediately fell ill.

“She started falling seriously sick after receiving information about the demolition of the building because we owe a lot of money to the bank,” Mr. Kim Heng said.

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