Singapore Keppel Land Entered JV to Develop HCM City Waterfront

Singapore-based real estate company Keppel Land Limited has entered into a conditional investment agreement to subscribe a 40% equity interest in Vietnamese real estate Empire City Ltd for a total  investment of US$93.9 million. Singaporean investors move into one of the most ambitious development projects in Southern Vietnam metropolis Ho Chi Minh City.

The prohect will  jointly develop a prime 14.6-hectare waterfront site in the Thu Thiem New Urban Area, located in District 2 of Ho Chi Minh City.The planned development will comprise premium residential apartments, office and retail properties as well as an 86-storey integrated mixed-use tower complex.

Mr Ang Wee Gee, CEO of Keppel Land, said, “As one of the largest and pioneer foreign real estate investors in Vietnam, Keppel Land has been privileged to play a part in Vietnam’s urbanisation over the years. Today, Vietnam, especially the fast-growing HCMC, is one of Keppel Land’s key growth markets.

“We are very excited to participate in the growth of the up-and-coming Thu Thiem New Urban Area, which is poised to become the future central business district of HCMC. Our planned projects will bring the best in waterfront and urban lifestyles to HCMC, as well as augment Keppel Land’s quality portfolio of prime residential and commercial properties in the city.”

Overlooking the Saigon River and the current central business district of HCMC, Thu Thiem New Urban Area is planned to be developed into the largest economic, commercial and financial centre of HCMC, offering cultural, entertainment and recreational activities. With the completion of the East-West Highway and the Thu Thiem Tunnel, it now takes only five minutes to drive from the waterfront site to the central business district.

Based on the latest market reports, Vietnam’s macroeconomic conditions continue to improve, supported by high gross domestic product growth, low inflation and high consumer spending. The country’s participation in the Trans Pacific Partnership as well as the ASEAN Economic Community will also spur foreign direct investments in the real estate sector.

In addition, the recent relaxation of the Housing Law and Real Estate Business Law, improvements in public infrastructure, growing middle class as well as high urbanisation rate will continue to drive the demand for quality homes and investment-grade offices.

Tien Phuoc and Tran Thai are Keppel Land’s current joint venture partners for various projects in HCMC. One of the most significant project is the Saigon Centre Phase Two development in the centre of Vietnam largest city. The structure will comprise 40,000 m2 of office space, 50,000 m2 retail space and about 200 units of luxury serviced apartments when completed. The retail mall, planned to open in 3Q 2016 will among others integrate a Takashimaya department store as the anchor tenant.