Construction began on Wednesday on a 250-room Hyatt Regency hotel in central Phnom Penh, the product of a partnership between the U.S. chain and Cambodian conglomerate Chip Mong Group, which said it had invested $100 million in the project.
Wednesday’s groundbreaking on the 50-meter-high hotel, across from the National Museum on St. 178, followed the signing of an agreement between the two companies in September, and marks another entry into Cambodia’s crowded luxury hotel market, which already features the Sofitel, Cambodiana, Raffles and Sokha hotels.
Leang Khun, chairman of the Chip Mong Group, said at the ceremony, which was also attended by Land Management Minister Chea Sophara, that he expected the hotel to open in 2020.
The project is part of an influx of investment in Cambodia’s construction sector. Last year saw a 67 percent increase in investment from the year before, to about $5.6 billion, according to Mr. Sophara.
Some are wary about the boom, however, with the World Bank releasing a statement in October that “the construction and real estate sector needs to be closely monitored in order to maintain macroeconomic stability.”
Stefan Willimann, general manager of the Hotel Cambodiana, said in September that he felt the market was not necessarily in need of more five-star accommodation.
“I do not think the luxury market is growing as fast as the luxury hotels that are planned to open in the near future,” he said.
The new Phnom Penh hotel will be Hyatt’s second in the country, with the first located in Siem Reap City.