Construction on tallest structure starts post-Covid

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Thai Boon Roong Twin Towers will cover an area of more than 5ha in front of Naga World Hotel and Casino, and have a floor area of 1,474,389sqm. Hean Rangsey

Construction of Thai Boon Roong Group’s ambitious more-than-$3-billion twin commercial skyscraper project in central Phnom Penh will begin when Covid-19 ends, according to Thai Boon Roong Architectural Co Ltd director Tous Saphoeun.

Slated to have a stunning total height of 567m, the 133-storey colossus will be Southeast Asia’s tallest building – standing 115m taller than the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur – and offer scenic views of the Cambodian capital.

The Thai Boon Roong Twin Towers will cover an area of more than 5ha in front of Naga World Hotel and Casino, and have a floor area of 1,474,389sqm.

The commercial centre will comprise 557 five-star hotel rooms, 448 luxury apartments, 1,737 condominium units, office space, mixed-use shopping malls, restaurants and other entertainment venues.

Saphoeun told The Post on July 22 that a technical design study and a supporting landslide protection wall had been completed, but that construction on the building has been put off for now.

“We are not sure when construction will start – we are waiting to see when the pandemic will end, when everything will be ready.

“Four years ago, many friends asked me if the 567m-high Thai Bunrong Business Center project was still going to be built,” he said, adding that the development is still forging ahead.

“The technical layout has been completed 100 per cent, and the retaining wall to prevent landslides – 26m below river-level – has been 100 per cent completely paved with concrete.

“At this time, the construction team and other technical teams are also ready, waiting for a good opportunity and the end of the gloomy situation surrounding Covid-19. The project will start under the strict plans and regulations issued by the tycoon, the CEO of Thai Boon Roong,” Saphoeun added.

He posited that the project would be a source of pride and prestige for Cambodia on the international stage, and improve the image of the country, which he said was once a highly-civilised country.

He claimed that the presence of the towers would attract larger international companies to Cambodia, saying that the Kingdom lacked the “world-class offices” that they would require.

“Not all countries have the capacity to build such large buildings – sometimes they have the money but are not sure they can build it,” he said.

Real estate specialist Ann Sothida told The Post on July 22 that the project’s level of success could not be immediately assessed given the unprecedented scale and timeframe for the construction.

Nonetheless, she said, the report augurs well for the Cambodian real estate and construction sector, indicating that the development would cater to international investors and larger companies considering its sheer magnitude.

“To be successful, the company needs to do a detailed study of the feasibility of this giant project, because the Cambodian market is growing, even if only at slower rates,” Sothida said.

World-class projects must be fitted with cutting-edge technology, modern design, top-quality facilities and services, and easy payment solutions, she said, cautioning that developers “must have a clear marketing strategy to prevent potential risks”.

According to a Ministry of Economy and Finance report on socio-economic trends released early this month, the government approved 1,823 construction projects in January-May, down 13.23 per cent from 2,101 in the year-ago period.

The ministry said housing projects accounted for 1,607 – down 7.96 per cent from 1,746 in January-May 2020 – and were to the tune of $2.349 billion, down 32.6 per cent.