Sokimex Plans $20 Million Hotel on Peninsula Site

Sokimex Petroleum Co plans to develop a $20 million luxury hotel and entertainment center on the Chroy Changvar peninsula—on a site once earmarked for a national conference center and exhibition hall, government and company of­ficials confirmed.

The valuable riverfront property, situated opposite the Royal Pal­ace, was cleared of about 90 fam­ilies in 2001 to make way for the cen­­ter and a planned pavilion for Cam­bodia to host the 2002 Asean Tourism Forum.

But the construction, which be­gan under former municipal governor Chea Sophara and stalled with his removal in 2002, was never completed. The building has re­mained a concrete skeleton.

“The city has granted it to me with a plan… It could be an enter­tain­ment center,” Sokimex Presi­dent Oknha Sok Kong said last week. He declined to give details.

Chhuon Sothy, director of the mun­­i­cipality’s Department of Ur­ban­­ization and Land Manage­ment, confirmed that Sokimex’s pro­­posal was submitted late last year and that city and company ex­perts were still negotiating the de­tails.

“I did not see any new plans. I saw only a letter from Sok Kong. The city wants to hand it over to Sok Kong for development,” Chhuon Sothy said.

A second municipal official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said some $20 million may be spent on the 17-hectare site. More details will be released in the next three months when a stu­dy of the plan is finished, of­ficials said.

Mam Bunneang, mun­icipal first deputy governor, said the municipality was happy a private firm was taking on a project that the city could not afford to complete. Though the future look of the pe­ninsula remains a secret, it will not take away from the area’s natural beauty, Mam Bunneang said.



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