Filled-in Lake To Become New Downtown Area Capital

One of Phnom Penh’s lakes filled in earlier this year may soon be­come the city’s second downtown, complete with skyscrapers, officials said this week.

LandMark Development has purchased some of the land that Cam­bodian tycoons Suon Kam­nouen and Kok An created by filling up parts of Boeng Pong Peay in Russei Keo district.

The South Korean construction firm hopes to turn it into a 120-hec­tare satellite city, officials said.

“That area would become the cen­­ter of Phnom Penh,” said Phnom Penh First Deputy Gov­er­nor Mam Bun Neang. “The development would be commercial, residential and public offices,” he said.

Mam Bun Neang said the Coun­cil for the Development of Cambo­dia is now considering Land­Mark’s proposal, which may in­volve an initial investment of around $1 billion.

Although the landfill was flooded and its banks mired in sandy muck on Tuesday afternoon, Mam Bun Neang said engineers have de­clared the soil fit for tall buildings.

LandMark’s “Phnom Penh New Town” proposal consists of six phases, with over 50 residential buildings to be completed in the first phase, said company representative Saeho Choi. “It is going to be a whole new town,” he said. “There are high-rises un­der consideration.” Saeho Choi said the company, which still is in the process of purchasing the 120 hec­tares around Pong Peay lake, hopes to break ground within 14 months in partnership with a Cam­bo­dian company he would not name.

Questions, such as how Pong Peay lake fell into private ownership, remain unclear. According to the 2001 Land Law, natural lakes are state public property and not to be sold. Kok An and Suon Kam­noeun could not be reached for com­ment on Tuesday

LandMark Development is a sub­­si­­diary of South Korea-based Han­mi­Parsons, which is a joint venture with US-based firm Parsons, ac­cord­ing to HanmiParsons’ Web site.


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