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At a meeting on the implementation of the public investment plan in 2020 and breaking through difficulties at delayed key foreign investment projects held on the afternoon July 20 in Ho Chi Minh City, chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong proposed the prime minister to expand the lifespan for Saigon Centre IV and V to 50 years from the day of land delivery.
“This proposal from the investors suits the regulation on the lifespan of projects under Article 43 of the Law on Investment,” Phong said.
Article 43 of the Law on Investment stipulates that for projects where land is granted and leased by the government but land delivery is slow, the time of delay must be excluded from o the lifespan of those projects.
“In reality, Keppel Land Watco and Real Estate Saigon Corporation – the investors of these projects – so far have not received cleared land while these projects will have to be returned to the government at the end of their 50-year lifespan. The slow land delivery since 1993 has had great impacts on the investors' business,” Phong said.
|The Saigon Centre retail mall was opened on August 2016 with Takashimaya Department Store as its anchor tenant|
The Saigon Centre project was given an investment license in 1993 with the investment capital of $270 million by Keppel Land Watco Co., Ltd., a joint venture between Keppel Land (Singapore) and domestic partners. It has been transferred many times since then, with the latest investor being Real Estate Saigon Corporation.
In 1996, the Ministry of Planning and Investment issued a decision to divide this project into five sub-projects (Saigon Centre I to V). Respective investors were also established accordingly, from Keppel Land Watco-I to V.
In 2017, Keppel Land acquired an additional 16 per cent stake in Keppel Land Watco I to V from the Vietnamese partner Southern Waterborne Transport Corporation for VND845.9 billion ($37 million).
So far, Saigon Centre I, II, and III have finished construction and have been put into operation. However, Saigon Centre IV and V have not received land yet. These two projects are located on a total area of more than 8,500 square metres next to Saigon Centre I, II, and III, on an area which is currently occupied by the Ministry of Transport’s agencies.
Saigon Centre is located on a two-hectare prime site in the heart of the central business district in District 1, a short distance from two planned underground subway stations at Ben Thanh Market and the Opera House.
The first phase of the project was completed in 1996 and comprises of a 25-storey mixed-use development, including a three-storey retail podium, Grade A office space, and 89 luxury serviced apartments.
The Saigon Centre retail mall was opened on August 2016 with Takashimaya Department Store as its anchor tenant.
After that, another development comprising of 44,000sq.m of premium Grade A office space, 55,000sq.m retail area, and 195 luxury serviced apartments have been completed and put into operation at the end of 2017.