Construction Firm to Fortify Crack in White Building

A Malaysian construction company building a hotel next to Phnom Penh’s iconic “White Building” has agreed to fortify a four-story crack that appeared in the apartment block in February, deputy municipal governor Chreang Sophan said Thursday.

After meeting with Rithy Samnang, the owner of the planned hotel; Biaxis, the construction firm; and residents of the White Building, Mr. Sophan said that it had been agreed that Biaxis would build a steel brace in order to preserve the aging building’s integrity and improve safety for residents.

“After the construction company builds over the crack, we hope that the land will not move anymore,” Mr. Sophan said, adding that Biaxis would have to guarantee the brace before it would be allowed to further the hotel project.

However, when asked if Biaxis would be required to compensate residents in the south end of the White Building whose apartments have been affected by the crack, Mr. Sophan said the crack was not the firm’s responsibility.

“It is broken because it is an old building. Don’t you know how old that building is?” he said.

Neither Biaxis nor Mr. Samnang could be reached for comment.

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