Phnom Penh’s Canadia Bank Ltd Cambodia is about one year away from the completion of a nine-story shopping center and parking garage near Psar Thmei, bank officials said Monday.
The $6 million project allows for a 70 year lease from the city, said Pung Chu Son, general manager of Canadia Bank. The bank is paying the municipality $1,500 per month until construction is completed, tentatively in April 2002, he said.
Once the center begins operation, the bank will be charged $3,500 per month. Parking fees and rental fees for shop space have yet to be determined, Pung Chu Son said, but parking will be available for daily shoppers at the center. Residents in the surrounding neighborhood will be able to purchase monthly parking places, including overnight parking.
“I believe people will be interested to see something in Phnom Penh,” Pung Chu Son said, adding that he had confidence people would set up shop there.
The last shopping center to be renovated in the city did not have so much luck. After much fanfare and a lot of construction, the new O’Russei Market has had a string of difficulties. High rental prices and little ventilation caused vendors to protest.
But Nhem Saran, director of municipal public works, said he, too, was confident vendors could afford to come to the new center, which is also expected to reduce traffic clutter around Psar Thmei.
Currently, there are hundreds of cars parked on sidewalks on streets around the market.
“I think people who live around Psar Thmei will be able [to afford] to rent at the shopping center,” he said.
Phnom Penh Governor Chea Sophara said the new center wouldn’t compete with the stalls already established in Psar Thmei because the shops that would set up there would be different.
Office space, hair salons, super- markets and video compact disc stores would probably occupy the new center, he said.
“This is more like a VIP place than the other,” he said. “It’s new for the city.”