HCMC to revive pending real estate projects

SGI

After a recent meeting held between Ho Chi Minh City leaders and real estate business owners, a number of pending housing investment projects are set to revive.

The HCMC People's Committee has just revived the project at 628-630 Vo Van Kiet.

The HCMC People's Committee has just revived the project at 628-630 Vo Van Kiet.

Concerned authorities will look into the various difficulties facing these projects and reasons for delay before gradually resolving all issues so as to enable completion of the construction work that has been on hold for several years.

Review of pending projects

Some long time pending real estate projects are again being reviewed by Ho Chi Minh City authorities, with intention of completing these projects, such as the building project at 76 Ton That Thuyet in District 4. This project on public land was assigned by the Prime Minister for the Khanh Hoi Glass Factory under Decision 607/TTg in October 1994. Later, the Saigon Beer Alcohol and Beverage Corporation (Sabeco) had a joint venture with the Malaysian partner to establish the Malaya Vietnam Company Limited (MVG) to make a glass packaging factory there.

However, after this arrangement was made, the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City decided that Sabeco HP can use 16,000 square meters of this land area to invest in the Charmington Iris Apartment Trade and Service Center Project. This project would consist of two building blocks of 35 floors each with a total of 1,438 apartments, to be developed by the TTC Land Company and Viet Real Estate Trading Joint Stock Company (Vietcomreal). Now this project is again being looked into and reviewed for completion.

Ms. Nguyen Thi Nhu Loan, General Director of the Quoc Cuong Gia Lai Joint Stock Company, said that twelve of her business projects were suspended in 2019. However at three meetings with city leaders in 2019 and 2020, it was decided that six projects would be resolved and implemented for completion. In another case, Ms. Luu Thi Thanh Mau, General Director of the Phuc Khang Corporation, said that the project on Luy Ban Bich Street was suspended when under construction in 2017, and now has to complete certain legal procedures before it can be restarted.

Mr. Bui Xuan Huy, General Director of the Novaland Group, said that the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City and related departments and agencies are working at resolving to remove obstacles in some pending projects of their enterprise. For example, the Co Giang Apartment Project at 100 Co Giang Street in Co Giang Ward in District 1, has been given a construction permit by the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City and the Department of Construction. Projects like commercial centers, offices, officetels and apartments at 151-155 Ben Van Don Street in Ward 6 in District 4 have been approved by the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City and the Department of Natural Resources and Environment in Ho Chi Minh City.

In addition, the high-rise apartment building project at 67 Mai Chi Tho Street in An Phu Ward in District 2 and District 7, as well as other projects in Phu Nhuan District are also being currently assessed by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment in Ho Chi Minh City and related departments and agencies for land use fees and granting of certificates of land use rights and assets on land to the people.

Recently, the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City also agreed to a proposal made by the Department of Construction to reopen a project on 628-630 Vo Van Kiet Street in District 5. This particular plan was approved for the Saigon Vi Na Real Estate JSC and comprises of a complex of commercial centers, hotels, offices, and high-end apartments over a total area of about 31,000 square meters, at an investment cost of about VND 5,000 bn, but was discontinued a long time back because of public land issues.

Now the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City will determine the value of land use rights at market price on the basis of two to three independent unit valuation certificates, referring to value of land use rights at the auction site in the vicinity of the project, to ensure full collection of land use fees at market price.

Businesses proposing solutions

Mr. Le Hoang Chau, Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Real Estate Association (HoREA), said that in the current market situation, the actions of city leaders has been positive. However, there are still many problems related to changes in laws where the most problems currently pertain to issues of public land which are under the jurisdiction of the State. As a rule, public land must be auctioned, but in the past the authorities assigned it, resulting in projects being stopped due to legalities.

A case in point is the 32 ha project of the Novaland Group in Binh An Ward in District 2, acquired under the land fund of the 21st Century International Development Co. Ltd. The project was decided under investment policy No. 3990/QD-UBND and is completing the relevant legal procedures, introduced by Novaland in 2018, under the name Water Bay, located on Mai Chi Tho Street in Binh Khanh Ward in District 2. The project will have twelve building blocks that will provide around 5,000 apartments, 3,000 officetels and 250 shops. The delay in the project has affected the overall business situation of the group as well as investors. Novaland has sent a letter to the government asking for support and continuing of the implementation and completion of the project to stabilize the business.

However, now many businesses are not willing to wait for the government to take action but are proactively proposing solutions. For example, the Him Lam Land Company has asked permission to pay the land use fees in advance to be able to develop the project early. If such an advance amount is accepted, then the real estate business can immediately begin implementing and completing the project.

According to Ms. Le Thi Bich Ngoc, Deputy General Director of the Him Lam Land Company, they have proposed to meet all financial obligations at the rate allocated to the project, so that the Real Estate 10 Joint Stock Company can fulfill its responsibility to build the infrastructure according to the approved plan. Ms. Le Thi Bich Ngoc also said that they have proactively proposed helping in collecting revenue for the State as well as for secondary investors.

Translated by Francis

Do Tra Giang

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