The $4 billion project in Thu Thiem New Urban Area proposed by Steelman Partners, Cantor Fitzgerald, and Weidner Resorts, along with Vietnamese company Imex Pan-Pacific Co. Ltd. (IPP) is likely going to be rejected because it does not satisfy the previously approved planning for the area.
The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has just confirmed its intention not to change the planning of the urban area, which puts the project in a precarious situation.
Earlier this month, in a document sent to the people’s committee, the Thu Thiem Urban Area Management Board pointed out differences between the previously approved planning and the project’s design.
Specifically the 1/2,000 planning previously approved does not allow a building to have more than 50 floors, while the project includes a 70-floor tower.
Moreover, Nguyen The Minh, deputy head of the board told local media that the investor only used a small part of the project areafor the tower while, the remaining is used to build a resort and restaurant, which is not consistent with the function of functional area No. 1, where the project is located, which is to be a financial centre.
Now the people’s committee said it appreciated the attention of the group of investors but it would not change the planning. In this case, the Prime Minister is going to make the final decision.
The $4-billion 11-hectare project is a trade centre with multiple functions, including entertainment, offices to let, and a shopping mall. It was going to be one of the biggest investment projects by US private companies in Vietnam.
At the end of May a representative said that the investors were done with the detailed design and arranging the finances and that they were proposing some changes to the area’s planning.
Thu Thiem New Urban Area is located on the east bank of the Saigon River, opposite District 1. It has a total area of 657 hectares and is planned to become the financial, commercial, and service as well as cultural, leisure, and entertainment centre of the city.
This new urban area is divided into five main areas, namely the central core area, the northern residential area, the residential area along Mai Chi Tho Avenue, the eastern residential area, and the south delta area, and eight functional areas.
At the moment, many big real estate companies have joined in projects in the new urban area. Notable projects include $6 billion Saigon Peninsula by Pavilion Group, Genting Malaysia Berhad and Vietnamese partner Van Thinh Phat, and $2.2 billion Thu Thiem Eco Smart City by Lotte Group’s subsidiaries and Japanese partners.