At least two Siem Reap provincial administration buildings will be moved to the outskirts of the booming tourist town as part of a land swap deal with private developers, local officials said.
Luon An, land title director in Siem Reap, said Tuesday that the provincial agriculture and public transport departments would be relocated to larger buildings at a site 15 km outside town in Bakong district.
Luon An called the swaps a “positive move” and said they were part of a government plan to eventually relocate all local administrative offices to a single suburban site outside the town.
He said private companies would take over the vacated state-owned land, but did not name them.
Siem Reap province Deputy Governor Oung Oeun claimed Wednesday that the move would reduce traffic congestion on Siem Reap’s small and increasingly crowded roads. Though government staffers might at first object to the commute and lack of amenities at the new site, Oung Oeun said that given the rate of development in Siem Reap, the new administrative city would be part of the main town soon enough.
The swaps are part of an exodus of state-owned prime real estate that has already claimed Siem Reap’s provincial court building, police headquarters and sports stadium, which have been vacated in recent years.
Soeung Kong, deputy director general of the Apsara Authority, which manages the Angkor park, said he doubted the land swaps would reduce traffic congestion and cautioned that too much new construction could kill the city’s tourist appeal.
“Many tourists come to Cambodia because they are tired of tall buildings,” he said. “Siem Reap needs to preserve its style.”