Saigon’s Thanh Da Peninsula Set to Get a Facelift

practicalities - Saigon/HCMC: March 15, 2019

Thanh Da Peninsula is set for an upgrade after 27 years of stalls.

Residents in Thanh Da have not been able to renovate or sell their properties since 2017.

The Thanh Da “super project” is now back in play with plans to redraw the guidelines and promises of no more delays.

Thanh Da Peninsula, Saigon’s only island within the city, in Binh Thanh District, is set to experience a long-awaited makeover after the city’s planning and investment department’s decision to revive a mega urban project in the area after a 27-year wait.

The project has already attracted five companies which have registered with the department to bid for the contract to build the new Thanh Da Eco Urban Area.

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A Quick Look At The Background

The Binh Quoi-Thanh Da Urban Area project, also known colloquially as “super project” among the locals, was first approved by the People’s Committee back in 1992 with an estimated cost of VND30 trillion ($1.32 billion).

However, in 2004, the land in Thanh Da Peninsula was repossessed by the city and allocated to the investors - Saigon Construction Corporation. A lack of progress in developing the land saw the city allocate a different company to step in. Unfortunately, that did not work either.

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Thanh Da’s Forgotten Decade

There were no further developments nor plans for another decade until late-2015, when the city appointed joint investors Bitexco Group and UAE’s Emaar Properties PJSC with a capital investment of over VND30 trillion ($1.28 billion) to revive the project.

Under this agreement, the project was to be implemented over half a century, with the primary construction work set to be completed within five years. However, in mid-2017, Emaar Properties PJSC withdrew from the project and the city then requested the government approve Bitexco Group as the project’s sole investor.

After six months of assessments from the government, the Prime Minister finally concluded, in writing to the city, that it would be very difficult for Bitexco to proceed with the project on its own.

As a result of the stalemate, about 3,400 residents of Thanh Da were stuck in limbo as they were unable to upgrade their homes or construct new houses on their own land. They were also unable to sell parts of their property and this eventually resulted in the area deteriorating into slum-like conditions.

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The Changes Set To Happen on Thanh Da

According to the city’s chief of staff Vo Van Hoan, the city is looking at establishing a set of criteria for investors to auction for the project. There will also be a review of the detailed project plan to make adjustments as the old plan is “no longer suitable”.

The boundary of the project area will also be redrawn by the municipal authorities to leave more households out of the plan area. This would finally free them from construction regulations which have prevented owners from upgrading or developing their property.

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Chairman of the city council Nguyen Thanh Phong promised at a meeting last July that the city will deal with the project thoroughly and prevent any more delays from happening again.

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