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Ben Thanh shopping center to get green light

Released at: 15:00, 01/01/2017

Ben Thanh shopping center to get green light

Photo: Duc Anh

Government to approve construction of $300 million underground shopping center at HCMC's Ben Thanh Market train station.

by Khanh Chi

Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh has recently agreed on the need to develop the Ben Thanh underground shopping center in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, a representative from the city’s Management Board of Urban Railways (MBUR) confirmed with VET.

The project will cost more than $300 million to build, according to a study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

But according to calculations from Japan’s Toshin Development JSC, which was reported to the Prime Minister in May by city leaders, $370 million will be needed to build the 45,000 sq m shopping center. The city will contribute around $220 million, or 59 per cent, from ODA loans for the public area and investors will contribute the remainder in a public-private partnership (PPP).

Deputy Prime Minister Minh assigned the city’s People’s Committee to study all borrowing options from ODA loans to implement the project. The city will need to work with the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Construction, and the Ministry of Finance to prepare an appropriate plan and then report to the government for a decision.

Under the proposal, the shopping center will be located at the Metro Line No. 1 (Ben Thanh - Suoi Tien) station at Ben Thanh Market, underneath Quach Thi Trang Square and along Le Loi Street, running from the market to the Opera House area.

The 45,000 sq m will have a shopping area on 18,100 sq m and an underground square on 21,500 sq m.

A few months ago the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee proposed the government permit a Japanese consortium that includes the Toshin Development JSC, JOIN, Nikken Sekkei Civil Engineering Limited, and Osaka Chikagai to build the shopping center. The joint venture was designated by the city as the developer of the shops and trade area

The city also proposed the government approve the use of ODA to carry out construction of walkways, squares and other underground works in the area by increasing funding for the Ben Thanh - Suoi Tien line.

In the latest news, the MBUR last month confirmed that South Korean consultants have completed a pre-feasibility study on the Metro Line No. 4B-1 (a branch line to Tan Son Nhat International Airport), which will be submitted to the government in the first quarter of the new year, with a full feasibility study to be conducted during the year and approval sought from the government.

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