The Cambodian conglomerate Sokimex Co, Ltd has begun tearing down the unfinished conference hall on Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changva peninsula to make way for a $100-million hotel and conference hall, company president Sok Kong said Monday.
Sok Kong said that his company will begin construction of a 10-story, five-star hotel in Russei Keo district across the Tonle Sap river from the Royal Palace by year’s end.
“We already got approval from the Phnom Penh Municipality,” he said, adding that the construction designs have been sent to the national government for approval.
The luxury establishment will be the third such resort constructed by Sokimex, which operates the Sokha Beach Resort in Sihanoukville and the Sokha Angkor Hotel in Siem Reap town.
Sok Kong said the 400-room hotel in Phnom Penh and a companion conference hall to hold 800 will likely cost around $100 million, but added that the cost will not be finalized for another three months.
The hotel will be located on the 14 hectares of land the municipality leased to Sokimex for 99 years in February at a cost of around $5.6 million, officials said.
Deputy Municipal Governor Pa Socheatvong confirmed that City Hall had given the green light for the hotel, but said the Ministry of Land Management is ultimately responsible for approving the plan.
To make way for the hotel, Sokimex has begun tearing down the Mekong Conference Center, which has stood dormant and unfinished for several years.
The conference center was the brainchild of former Phnom Penh Governor Chea Sophara, who sought to have it built to host the 2002 Asean Summit, but it was not completed in time. Construction was halted when Chea Sophara was removed from his position in early 2003. Contacted on Monday, Chea Sophara, who is now a secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, declined to comment on the proposed hotel.
Nosh Ybrahim, Chroy Changva second deputy commune chief, said he had recently reviewed the hotel plans during a meeting with City Hall officials. “The hotel will likely have twin towers,” he said.
Nosh Ybrahim said that the road running along the river would be expanded from 9 to 12 meters, adding that neither the nearby Sampov Trai Lak pagoda nor residents’ homes would be threatened by the development.
“With this development project, the value of the land will be up $400 per square meter,” Nosh Ybrahim said. “I think the peninsula will become a popular tourism area.”