Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen is an ambitious, extremely ambitious man. And the best way for the powerful politician to leave a legacy to Cambodia is to build a monument to his glory. This is now officially done: last week, the Cambodian stateman inaugurated the Hun Sen Boulevard and publicly acknowledged the go-ahead for the Thai Boon Roong Twin Trade Center – two towers both with 133 floors which will crown the boulevard.
Talking to the Phnom Penh Post, the PM declared: “Before, Phnom Penh only had buildings of three to eight storeys, but now, there are 40 to 50-storey buildings. The next step is to build this skyscraper, possibly the tallest in Southeast Asia. It’s up to 550 metres tall, so we can all go and test the sky,” quoted the newspaper. The building will not only be the highest but the biggest in size in ASEAN.
The Thai Boon Roong project has been however delayed. Originally unveiled to the public over a year ago, the Twin Trade Center was pushed back following the death of his owner, Thai Boon Roong Co. Ltd founder, Teng Boonma. Gloom in the real estate market in Cambodia put also a cast on the project.
Finally, design adjustment is currently undertaken to reinforce the safety of the building and bring -hopefully- a more attractive design to the complex. The two towers bear a strange similarity with New York World Trade Center twin towers- the ones destroyed by the most spectacular terrorist attack in the USA to date on the sadly infamous 9/11.
The Thai Boon Roong is in reality a large structure located in the Chaktomuk District: the massive twin towers will be surrounded by an additional four 42-storey towers. It will accommodate luxury hotels, a shopping mall, offices and condominiums. The total cost for the project is estimated at US$5.1 billion. It will seat on a 4.97 hectare land plot next to NagaWorld Hotel and Casino complex.
Not surprisingly, Chinese companies are involved into the construction and the management of the infrastructure.
Phnom Penh is undergoing a radical change, losing rapidly its old world charm to be turn into a modern metropolis, similar in its development to Bangkok, Manila or most probably any large Chinese provincial city. Still talking to the Phnom Penh Post, Prime Hun Sen explained that “the city’s expansion from 300 square kilometres to its current 700 square kilometres is a vital change in our city of Phnom Penh”.
According to a Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC) report, the end of 2016 collated a total of 600 buildings with a height between five and 45 storey. The new project should show to the world that Cambodia economy is now coming of age while the Government assures political stability for the Kingdom.