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.