Arakawa to build affordable housing for public servants and teachers

Land Management Minister Chea Sophara (third from right) and Arakawa executives participate in a groundbreaking ceremony.
Land Management Minister Chea Sophara (third from right) and Arakawa executives participate in a groundbreaking ceremony. Sreng Meng Srun

The housing market has been actively expanding in recent years and real estate prices have increased steadily, largely due to outside investment in the sector. To remedy the slowly shrinking market for affordable homes, some companies have made an effort to include reasonably priced units in their development projects.

Japan’s largest real estate investment company, Arakawa, held a groundbreaking ceremony yesterday for the “Arakawa Residence” in Phum Phsar Teuk Thla village, and the event was attended by Chea Sophara, the minister of land management, urban planning and construction, as well as many other guests and stakeholders.

“The project prioritises housing for low-income [residents] to gain experience with ownership and living in a luxury condominium in the city,” he said, adding that the project was the third of its kind in Phnom Penh after an affordable housing development owned by construction magnate Sear Rithy and another project on National Road 5. Sear’s project is more than 40 percent done.

According to a 2015 World Bank report, the population of Phnom Penh has grown to almost 3 million, accounting for 20 percent of the total population of Cambodia. Sophara said he avidly supported the creation of more affordable housing to address the city’s rising population figures and dearth of moderately priced homes.

Arakawa has said they are interested in building affordable housing within their 10-building development, especially during the first phase of the project.

At the groundbreaking ceremony, Dr Alex Yasumoto, the CEO of Arakawa, said that following the decisions they made concerning the White Building, the company was eager to start work on another project, a 23-floor condominium which would be “fairly priced” for the first 19 floors.

Land Management Minister Chea Sophara and Arakawa officials look at renderings of the building.
Land Management Minister Chea Sophara and Arakawa officials look at renderings of the building. Sreng Meng Srun

Dr Yasumoto said the units will help civil servants, teachers, students and Cambodia’s economy. Located in Teuk Thla village, the project is being developed on 13,680 square metres of land.

“We will start two phases of the construction, costing about $40 million for the first phase and $30 million for the second phase in 42 months,” he said. “Residences are available for sale between $20,000 and $30,000.”

Ieng Sotheara, a co-founder of Arakawa, said the project will open within three to six months of the inauguration of the ground floor. The event will include a viewing to boost buyer confidence.

“Our company is not affected and requires customers to pay a pre-amortised amount of money, but it is pre-saving their money to get a living house to avoid the risk for each family,” he said.

Arakawa has been operating in Cambodia since 2008 and built the Bellevue Serviced Apartments in Phnom Penh. They recently bought the White Building and the land around it, tearing down the building in June.