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In 2007, HCM City authorities called for investment in large-scale projects on 20 golden land plots totaling 50 hectares. After 10 years, projects have been implemented on only four land plots. The remaining land lots have changed hands many times.
One of these golden land plots, at 164 Dong Khoi Street, opposite the Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral, was returned to the city by Hongkong Land and Sumitomo & Development. This plot is 9,800 m2 area, adjacent to the center roads of Nguyen Du, Dong Khoi, Ly Tu Trong and Tran Dai Nghia High School. Recently a local firm - Nova Bac Nam 79 – proposed to invest in this plot.
While the investor of 164 Dong Khoi area changed twice, the triangular area of Tran Hung Dao - Nguyen Thai Hoc - Pham Ngu Lao, in District 1 has changed hands three times.
With an area of 13,110 m2, adjacent to 23/9 Park and Ben Thanh market, this land plot is considered to have the best location among the golden land plots in the city. In early 2007, HCM City held an auction for this plot, and the auction winner was Thai Son JV. But then the Government identified many mistakes during the bidding process so the auction result was annulled and Thai Son JV withdrew from the project.
After that, a JV comprising one Vietnamese firm and three Korean companies was licenced to invest in this plot of land. In 2011, as this JV failed to fully implement HCM City’s requirements, the city authorities revoked the project. In 2015, the city once again sought a new investor for this golden land. This time the winner was a JV between Jimiro (South Korea) and Dai Tan Phu (Vietnam).
The new investors planned to build three 55-storey office towers, a 30-storey 5 star hotel and a 10-storey business center, with total capital of about $500 million.
Bitexco is the owner of many valuable lots in HCM City.
In 2008 the Bitexco Group won the bidding to build a luxury commercial complex named The One at the Ben Thanh quadrangular area, opposite the Ben Thanh Market. Earlier, this group was licensed to invest in the Saigon hospital opposite The One. In addition, the Nguyen Cu Trinh quadrilateral area of 600,000 m2, home to upscale office and apartment buildings, also belongs to Bitexco.
However, after 10 years, these projects have yet to start.
For The One, after almost a decade, Bitexco has only finished the construction of the basement. The two other projects have not begun. According to some property investors, as site clearance has not been implemented, these projects will be delayed for years.
Another golden land plot at 23 Le Duan, District 1, with two facades at Le Duan and Nguyen Du streets was auctioned last year. The winner was Tan Hoang Minh, who offered VND1,430 billion for 3.000 m2.
However, this group asked to cancel the auction results to hold another auction because the auction process was inaccurate.
The golden land area at 2-4-6 Hai Ba Trung Street (Ben Nghe Ward, District 1) is about 6,000 m2, with four facades looking to the streets of Cong Truong Me Linh, Hai Ba Trung - Dong Du - Thi Sach. In 2008, the HCM City People's Committee decided to give it to the Saigon Beverage Corporation or Sabeco without holding bidding.
In January 2016, Sabeco Pearl Investments JSC introduced its project on this area, including a six-star hotel, a conference center, and office buildings for rent named Sabeco Tower. The work has a total floor area of about 90,000 m2.
But recently, Sabeco disclosed its plan to withdraw from this project and the golden land was transferred to a big real estate corporation in Saigon, whose name has not been disclosed.
There are many golden land areas that have not found an appropriate investor.
In 2015, HCM City held auctions for 28 land lots with a total area of 855,000 m2. Of these, three lots of more than 9,500 m2 were successfully auctioned with a total value of VND117 billion.