A 5,000-square-meter plot of land owned by the local Sokimex Group on Phnom Penh’s Street 154, near Wat Ounalom and Kandal market, could be the site of a new, multi-story hotel, the conglomerate’s CEO said Tuesday.
Sok Kong, Sokimex CEO, said Tuesday that construction of a hotel on the site, which sits adjacent to the Amanjaya Pancam Hotel and stretches a block, from Street 154 to Street 148, has been delayed because of the current political impasse.
“The land belongs to me, and we planned to build a hotel, but we suspended the sale because we are worried about demonstrations” following July’s national election, Mr. Kong said.
Mr. Kong said that before and after the election, representatives of a Korean company and a Japanese company talked with him about purchasing the land to construct a hotel, but they had not returned after initial talks.
Mr. Kong said that his company had demolished a large phone accessories shop that was once located on the land, and had cleared other small vendors to prepare it for sale.
“We just demolished the building and removed the businesses from the land to prepare for sale…but we have not yet sold this land,” he said.
Daun Penh district governor Sok Sambath, however, said that Mr. Kong had already sold the land to a Korean company, which is planning to build a hotel and offices.
“This land belonged to Okhna Sok Kong, but he sold it to the Korean company a few months ago,” Mr. Sambath said. “The company owner recently came to meet me and discussed about the construction plan for a high hotel and one building for company offices.”
At the site Tuesday, a green aluminum fence surrounded the land and a sign on the entrance gate directed customers to the location of the new phone shop. Street vendors Monday and Tuesday said they had been moved from a spot on the land to the sidewalk.
Earlier this year, Sokimex began clearing businesses from its land a block away at the corner of Streets 19 and 154, the location of the former colonial era T-3 prison, for the planned development of a Chinese-backed 15-story hotel with high-end shops and a supermarket.