Spanning 8 hectares, Diamond Island is the new planned urban area near the junction of Saigon River – Giong Ong To, Binh Trung Tay Ward, District 2. According to the plan approved by the municipal Department of Construction in 2009, the area is expected to have a 122,000-square-meter urban complex with 6 apartment blocks with 16 to 25 stories each.
The project has a total investment of VND1.9 trillion ($91.2 million), and was scheduled to reach completion last year.
Following a joint inspection on February 21, inspectorate officials found that all of the apartments have built 1-2 stories more than allowed. Specifically, the 16-story building has been constructed with 17 stories, the 19-story building has 21, and the highest of them, the 26-story block, was approved to have only 25 stories.
The officials have made a report on the violation, and asked the project’s investors, as well as the constructors, to discontinue the project.
However, a week after the crackdown, on February 28, work on the construction site is still progressing normally, with all of the six blocks in stages of completion.
According to the People’s Committee of Binh Trung Tay Ward, the construction inspectorates of relevant agencies have drawn a report on the construction’s administrative violation.
“Relevant agencies will impose appropriate penalties on the investors depending on their degree of breaching regulations,” an official from the committee told Tuoi Tre.
Regarding the public wondering how such a violation was only detected when the project was nearly completed, the chiefs of the people’s committee said it was a matter of human force.
The inspectorates of Binh Trung Tay Ward and District 2 have provided checkups on the construction on a regular basis, they said.
However, they added, there are only three officials in the ward inspectorate team, and they had to carry out many other tasks in the pre- and post-Tet periods.
“The investors have made use of these times to breach the height limit in their apartments.”
The construction inspectorates have reported the case to the municipal Department of Construction.
However, a source told Tuoi Tre that the project investors are completing procedures to call on the Ministry of Construction to adjust the project design, a move insiders said is intended to legalize the construction of the apartments that have defied height limits at Diamond Island.
The Diamond Island project is one of the most luxurious and expensive condo projects in HCMC. At the time the project construction was announced in late 2009, industry players said each apartment cost around $300,000 to $3 million with many high-class standards.
The area for docking cruise ships on the island was also put on sale at $500,000.
Though the information had yet to be verified, the project had managed to attract special attentions from real-estate investors at that time.
According to the HCMC Department of Construction, the total capital required for the project is as much as VND1.9 trillion ($91.2 million), with the investors accounting for VND327 billion. Nearly VND486 billion came from bank loans, and VND1.07 trillion, from customers who paid for the apartment in advance.
Source Tuoi Tre