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UK Tapped as Development Partner for Thu Thiem

Last Thursday, David Puttnam, the Prime Ministerial Trade Envoy to Vietnam, met with the HCMC mayor’s office to discuss “cooperation with the city in developing its new Central Business District,” reports Thanh Nien.

In the meeting, Lord Puttnam spoke with Nguyen Thi Hong, deputy chairwoman of the HCMC People’s Committee, on ways to increase UK cooperation with the city in developing its new Central Business District.

From this meeting came an agreement that “UK’s Canary Wharf Group will work with the Thu Thiem Project Management Board to build Thu Thiem Peninsula into a modern business district.”

While a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is drawn up, Canary Wharf will meet with UK investors to spark interest for the massive project.

In addition, the group will send experts to Vietnam to train the managemnt board staff.

Back in August, Bitexco was assigned to manage the project after years of land clearance delays, lack of investors and stagnation in the real estate market.

Bitexco, which has successful completed landmark projects such as The Manor and the Bitexco Tower, has been tapped to manage the massive $3 billion project that would completely transform District 2 (or, as it may be referred to in the future, the East City).

The hope is that Bitexco’s management will end the almost 20-year log-jam in development in the area.

There have been plans to redevelop the area, which covers more than 426 hectares, into a cultural sport and tourism center as far back as in 1992 in its current form (there were plans for a similar project in the early 1970s that fell through for obvious reasons).

In 2000, planning for the project began in earnest and in 2004, the HCMC People’s Committee assigned the project to the Saigon Construction Corporation. However, in 2007, the city decided to award the project to another group due to lack of financial capacity.

According to Ho Chi Minh City Zoning and Architecture Department,

“The area would be dominated by green landscaping and an ecological tourism resort combined with housing. Out of the total of 426 hectares, around 100 hectares will be reserved for parks and public facilities with the remaining 48 hectares would be devoted to transport infrastructure.” 

The company is also responsible for the development of One Ho Chi Minh City, a twin tower project across from Ben Thanh Market which is scheduled for completion in 2016 and will house the country’s first Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

 

[Thanh Nien]

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