Second Skyscraper May Be Built in City by 2006

The quest to build Phnom Penh’s tallest building may soon become a race.

Last year, the Overseas Cambo­dian Investment Corporation, parent company of Canadia Bank, an­nounced that it would build a 24 story office tower on the corner of Monivong Boulevard and Russian Con­federation Boulevard.

Now competitor Vattanac Bank is seeking approval to build a similarly tall building directly across from it, in front of the railway station—and Vattanac’s tower could be completed first.

“The building is designed by a foreign architect using elements based on Angkor Wat combined with modern design,” Chhun Le­ang, an owner of Vattanac Bank, said Wednesday.

“The plan has been submitted to the Ministry of Land Management already,” she said.

The Council for the Develop­ment of Cambodia approved Vat­tanac’s $30 million tower on April 22, ac­cording to CDC documents.

Chhun Leang, who is also build­ing an enormous residence on No­ro­dom Boulevard, said her office building, which will house the head­­quarters of Vattanac Bank, will be 18 stories tall.

“It is opposite from the new Can­a­dia Bank…but my construction is by Singaporean standards. The space be­tween floors is great­er. The height is not really different,” she said, comparing her build­ing with Ca­nadia’s.

Chhun Leang said that she has re­quested that the Ministry of Land Management finish its re­view soon so construction can com­mence.

The architect of Canadia’s tower said that his building will not be completed in 2006 as originally scheduled. The office building, which will house the headquarters of Canadia Bank, will be delayed until 2008, he said.

“We are working on a new plan,” architect Chea Vuthy said. “The first plan did not satisfy my boss.”

Chea Vuthy said that in the new plan, an extra two stories have been added to the tower, making it 26 floors in addition to the basement.

When Canadia’s tower was an­nounced in June of last year, some ob­servers worried that skyscrapers could ruin the low-rise ambiance of central Phnom Penh while also failing to find sufficient tenants to justify their existence.

 

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