Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The BOOM Continues

According to the billboards around town, SihanoukVille will soon take over from Bangkok as the largest city in South-East Asia.

Condos, apartments, duplexes, and quadruplexes. Hi-rises and low-rises. Marinas, airport complexes and golf courses are all under construction, or planned.

The SihanoukVille airport should have domestic flights by the middle of the year, international flights by the end of the year, and by the end of 2009, should be the main transit and shipping airport for the whole country.

The Marina on Hawaii Beach looks to be about 80% complete, and is going up very quickly.

On SihanoukVille mountain, most of the land has been cleared, and most impressive project is a set of 8 Western style houses with swimming pools in a gated community.

Out past the new market (which is scheduled to be the old market, after the old market burned down and is being rebuilt to be the New, new market), a few large developments consisting of 10 and 20 story condos, single family housing and markets have begun construction and pre-sales. Around town, several smaller apartment building are near completion or have just been completed.

Prices are still going up, but not at the pace of the last few years.

The expansion of the main yards and docks at the SihanoukVille Port seem to be finished, and since imports and exports keep growing, it's really good timing.

Several international operations have been seen in town looking for factory sites. And the Japanese and Chinese have committed a lot of capital for developing the free trade zones.

The 1,000 room Sokha project, scheduled for opening in 2013 has slowed to a crawl. Could be the Billion dollar project in SihanoukVille's sister city on Bokor Mountain that is occupying them for the moment. They will probably get to work on it soon, as their flagship Sokha Resort was well booked for the tourist season, and is fully booked already for the next season.

Only problem now, is they can't build high end resorts fast enough for the demand.

No word on any progress on the islands, but it's hard to see unless you go out to the islands and look for yourself.

By the number of helicopters flying overhead and out to sea, there's probably some major activity going on in the newly discovered oil fields a couple hundred miles offshore.

The 10th bank in town may have opened already. We don't want to have to walk more than 50 meters from anywhere to get to an ATM machine, so they could cover some gaps.

This is the first week after Cambodian (Khmer) New Years, and the town has quieted down from the festivities. Downtown is rather quiet, but the beaches seem to be pulling in lots of tourists still.

Until more.....


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