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City supports Australian waste treatment

Fluid Tech Australia received in principle agreement to build a plant in HCM City to incinerate solid waste and generate electricity on Tuesday.

Nguyln VSn Dua, vice chairman of HCM City People's Committee, has told the Australian company to submit the project to the Ministry of Planning and Investment for an investment licence.

The plant, which would be located in CO Chi District, would be able to treat 1 ,200 tonnes of rubbish per day

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City condos sell well despite high prices

Condominiums in Ho Chi Minh City have been in high demand for the last two months, despite the fact that prices have gone through the roof.

Over the past two weeks, Ms. Kim Loan from the Central Highland province of Lam Dong has been trying to find a condo in the city for her daughter, who is to start university next year.

A real estate agent showed her a 364-million VND condo at the An Loc Apartment Building in Go Vap District and another in Binh Thanh District at nearly 1 billion VND.

“Possibly I will choose the one in Go Vap District, a 64-square-meter condo with a living room, a bedroom, and a bathroom,” she said.

An Loc, a newly built 12-storey apartment building, is about to be put into service. Most of its condos are already sold, but some owners will transfer ownership for those willing to pay a few dozen to a hundred VND million higher, according to property companies.

Following the increased demand many condominiums, particularly high-quality ones, have been constructed in the city. In mid-September, a nine-storey apartment building comprising 174 condominiums and covering an area of over 4,600 square meters in Thu Duc District was inaugurated. Up to now, 110 condos have been sold at 6.5 million VND per square meter.

Meanwhile, construction of a high-quality 18-storey complex in Binh Thanh District just began recently. Each condo will be 80 to 93 square meters in size, with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and a living-room, with a price tag of 780 to 945 million VND.

However, these prices are far less than those in the city center. A My Vinh condo in District Three is selling for US$ 137,000. Forty-four of its 62 units have already been sold although construction of the building itself will not be completed until next year, reported its investor Thao Loan Co., Ltd.

Thao Loan Co., Ltd. is also building another first-rate 12-storey complex in District Three. The price of each unit will range from $US 150,000 to 170,000.

The demand for condos is on a sharp increase, commented Le Quang Hang, Deputy Chief Executive of the Hoang Quan Real Estate Co., Ltd. Therefore, the firm is planning to build more condos in the near future. The Hoang Quan Company targets young customers who are interested in condos because they are affordable, Mr. Hang said.

High-quality condos have sufficient family conveniences, a nice environment and good security conditions, explained Deputy Director of the Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank Real Estate Supermarket Vo Dinh Quoc. Also, most of these properties are located in the city center, he added.

But in fact, the Vietnamese do not really like living in condos, Mr. Quoc noted. They consider it as a temporary place before moving to a private house, he said.

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Larkhall Savico will be built early next year

A stalled project to build a skyscraper in Ho Chi Minh City is slated to get off the ground early next year, said a source from the project's developer Larkhall-Savico joint venture.

"Preparations for the long-delayed project are fast-tracked now. If things are okay, construction on the 43-storey building in the city downtown will resume early next year," Cheung Shuet Fei, general director of Larkhall-Savico, confirmed.

"We've decided to resume the project because of the recent upturn in the city office and residential leasing market. We hope this project will satisfy the ever-increasing demand for luxury offices and apartments," he added.

The project will cost an estimated US$95 million to build. Hong Kong's Larkhall will hold a 70% stake while local partner Savico will contribute the remaining 30% in land use rights on the 4,500-square-metre site.

The partnership was licensed in 1996 to develop a hi-rise office and apartment building standing 43 storeys high in downtown District 1. However, partners were forced to postpone construction due to the Asian economic crisis in 1997.

Savico, a state-owned company under the umbrella of Ben Thanh Corporation (Sunimex) that recently went public, then used the site, which is flanked by major boulevards Nguyen Hue and Dong Khoi, for shopping malls and restaurants.

"The site is now being cleared for the project. This work should be finished by mid-December so that construction on the project can proceed according to schedule," said Fei.

To suit the property market, Fei said there were some changes in the project's original design, but the number of storeys will remain unchanged with 43 storeys.

The Larkhall-Savico would become the tallest building in Ho Chi Minh City, shadowing the 33-storey Saigon Trade Centre, the city's current tallest hi-rise. Design of the building made by a group of Hong Kong's most experienced architects has recently been completed.

"Contractors for piling, foundation and construction will be chosen in two or three weeks," Fei said.

The Larkhall-Savico building, slated for completion by 2007, will also provide 118 high-end apartments and auxiliary facilities including shopping malls, hotels, retail, and restaurant outlets.


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Foreign firm to be contractor for airport traffic project

A foreign company will be chosen to build a road linking Tan Son Nhat airport with the outer beltway in the outlying Thu Duc district to help ease traffic congestion around the international airport in Ho Chi Minh City, a city official said.

The city government will next month submit a plan to the central Government seeking approval for choosing the foreign firm as contractor for the cost-extensive project.

The official said that the road would start from the airport to Binh Loi east of the city and on to Thu Duc district. The HCM City Department of Communications and Public Works has been told to supply relevant information required by the investor.

While the contractor's name has yet to be announced, the likely contender is LG Engineering & Construction, which had a meeting with the city government in August over this project as well as several other infrastructure projects in the city.

LG at the meeting sought the city's permission to develop the road, build a commercial-residential complex in District 1, and develop a new urban zone in the outlying district of Nha Be.

Another source said the Department of Communications and Public Works and the Republic of Korea's company held a meeting on Monday on the project to build the road, which is aimed to improve traffic for the airport.

Until now, Nam Ky Khoi Nghia and Nguyen Van Troi streets are virtually the only route for traffic flow to and from the airport, and this route is suffering from constant traffic congestion. No updated cost estimate for the new road project is available, but an old project to build the same road put the total cost at around VND2 trillion, or over US$130 million.

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Korea housing firm seeks State backing

The Korea National Housing Corp. (KNHC) is seeking guarantees from either the State Bank of Vietnam or the Ministry of Finance for a US$900-million project to build 60,000 apartments in Ho Chi Minh City for low-income people.

Lee Ho-weon, general manager of KNHC's representative office in HCM City, said KNHC planned to sell the completed project to the Saigon Real Estate Corporation (Resco) of Vietnam, which will contribute land and some of the project's initial capital.

KNHC has submitted a petition to HCM City vice chairman Nguyen Van Dua asking for guarantees in case the State-owned Resco defaults on its payments and does not take over the project, he said.

"We need State guarantees that we will get back all of the money in time to minimize our investment risks," he said.

City leaders said they supported KNHC but said it might take months to get reply from the State Bank of Vietnam or the Ministry of Finance.

Lee said his company planned to cover all construction expenses for the low-income housing units.

When buying the completed project, Resco will have to pay 30% in advance and the rest in long-term installments.


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Planned hotel to become shops, offices, apartments

A freshly formed Vietnamese company has taken over the site and foundations of a planned hotel by the Saigon River to build a shopping mall and apartment and office tower, a source said.

The buyer is a VND500-billion joint venture involving the Saigon M&C Real Estate Company with a 60% stake, the Saigontourist Holding Company with 30% and the Thu Do Land Company with 10%.

Originally, the 6,000sq.m site near the Thu Ngu flagpole on Ton Duc Thang street belonged to the Cot Co Thu Ngu Company, a US$25-million 75:25 joint venture between France's Feal International and Saigontourist.

In 1997, just after the hotel's foundations were laid, the Asian financial crisis broke out and put what was hoped to be a temporary hold on the project. A lack of capital has left the site dormant ever since.

The new owners estimate the cost of the mall and 40-story tower at VND1 trillion. Each apartment will have three bedrooms and range in size from 150 to 200sq.m.

The project has been submitted to the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee, and is waiting for the final approval. The project owner anticipates construction starting early in 2005 and taking three years.

The off-the-plan apartment prices will be announced after the project is approved. Buyers will be able to make their payments over three years: 40% in the first year and 30% in each subsequent year.


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more to thu thiem

American architectural firm Sasaki Associates Inc. presented on Tuesday its master plan for a new urban centre to be located on the Thu Thiem Peninsula across the Saigon River from downtown Ho Chi Minh City.

David McIntyre, principal of Sasaki, told Ho Chi Minh authorities that the proposal calls for 14 different kinds of use on 737ha of land.

Le Thanh Hai, chairman of Ho Chi Minh City's People's Committee, said construction will begin next year on several commercial centres.

Hai said while it took Phu My Hung Corporation 10 years to transform a swamp area in District 7 into the modern Saigon South development, it will take the city 20 years to complete the Thu Thiem urban centre.

"We are financially capable," Hai said, adding that land-use rights for some areas of land in Thu Thiem may be auctioned next year to raise capital.

Thu Thiem Peninsula, which is 300 metres from District 1, is now home to 40,000 people.

Construction, which will be done in four phases, is expected to be completed by 2025.

The much-awaited Thu Thiem Bridge will be built during the project's first phase of construction, which will cover 350ha.

Sasaki's land-use plan calls for residential housing, multi-storey office buildings, a convention centre, sports centre, museums and educational facilities, he said.

Commercial areas will be located near the main highway that parallels the Saigon River, and administrative and government offices will be located along the East-West Highway.

Schools and other public institutions will be situated in residential areas.

Public parks and natural wetlands areas will take up about one-third of the space of the peninsula, which is located in District 2. Parks will line the 8.5-km river banks and canals in the area.

By 2020, some 130,000 residents are expected to live in Thu Thiem while some 350,000 will work in the area, according to Sasaki's report.

Thu Thiem will be divided into five zones: a central zone, a multi-functional zone along the East-West Highway, a northern residential zone, an eastern residential zone, and a swamp zone to the south.

The central zone, which will become a commercial and financial centre, will house multi-storey office buildings, a convention centre, and a central plaza and public park. This area is expected to be complete by 2010.

The central zone is expected to employ the largest number of people and house 40,000 residents.

The so-called swamp zone to the south will eventually house a botanical garden, an aquatic park, a sports centre, an arena and a resort hotel.

The existing mangrove swamps in the area will be preserved as part of the cultural heritage of Thu Thiem and Ho Chi Minh City.

Public transport will include a subway line and station in the central zone, and bus and waterbus services that would link the area with District 1.

Five bridges over the Saigon River will be built, including the Thu Thiem and Ton Duc Thang bridges, a bridge to link the peninsula with district 2, and another to connect the area with District 7.

A pedestrian bridge over the river will link Me Linh Square in District 1 with Thu Thiem.

The eastern residential zone and most of the central zone will be built during the first five-year phase.

The second phase, from 2010-2015, will develop 180ha of the central zone and the multi-function zone along the East-West Highway.

The third phase from 2015 to 2020 will develop 87ha, and the fourth phase from 2020 to 2025, 120ha. (VNA)

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SaigoMax - The Saigon Entertainment World - shall become the main modern entertainment landmark of HCMC and its surrounding provinces. The 47 hectare park is within minutes from the city center. In close proximity to a main highway, its location is also ideal for out-of-city visitors.
SaigoMax shall be a uniquely designed adventure and entertainment park with a significant educational focus, and a family and youth orientation. The park shall comprise a large palette of attractions and exhibits, grouped in five main sections: SaigoMax Plaza, TechnoMax, ShowMax, RideMax and SplashMax. All elements are embedded in a tropical garden-like setting with lakes, creeks and a small mountain. Individual attractions and recreation facilities shall have a common design theme and 'feel'. This park costs 220 mil $.

Project Status

The SaigoMax project was initiated in 1997 by IMA (Jersey) Ltd, an international project development and finance company. In the first years, IMA undertook detailed project initiation, mainly involving research, licensing, and concept design. IMA continually expanded the project and invited partner firms that would ideally contribute to the development of SaigoMax.
Since 2002 SaigoMax is a portfolio company of Asia Leisure Industries Holding (S) Pte Ltd, a financial investment company focused on the leisure industry. A group of leading firms have been assembled as Core Participants for the implementation of SaigoMax. The project is managed by Maxmakers, an internationally active management services company focused on the venue-based entertainment market. SaigoMax enjoys the full support of the relevant Vietnamese Government authorities.
Financial feasibility has been extensively examined and is today established. The chosen legal and financial structure optimizes both operational and tax parameters and is attractive for investors. Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) has been mandated as SaigoMax' investment bankers and financial advisers.
A detailed implementation plan is currently being executed. SaigoMax is scheduled to open its doors in 2006.

SaigoMax Plaza

Starting at the main entry gates of the park, SaigoMax Plaza is the main hub and entry point of the park. The Plaza square is designed in the form of an Italian piazza. From here, all other SaigoMax sections can be accessed.
SaigoMax Plaza hosts many restaurants, cafes, bars, and clubs, as well as a number of shops. Especially during evening hours, street performances and similar attractions offer entertainment. Access to the Plaza is free for all visitors with tickets to other park sections. Plaza visitors also have complementary access to a romantic float ride on the main pond of the park, as well as access to some of the recreational garden areas.
Given the park's location, a mere 15 minutes from downtown HCMC, SaigoMax Plaza will also attract short term visitors, coming for a coffee in the afternoon, or a beer in the evening in a relaxed yet entertaining environment. In order to control access, SaigoMax charges a nominal entry fee to Plaza-only visitors. The entry fee can then be redeemed against food or beverage purchases.


One of the unique elements of the SaigoMax park is the TechnoMax section - an interactive science and technology exhibition.
Vietnam's growing international openness is provoking a rapidly increasing desire for knowledge. Vietnamese are exceptionally keen on learning, getting to know and experiencing the "new" the world has to offer.
TechnoMax stands for world-class educational entertainment, featuring some of the latest technologies in a "try it yourself" fashion. TechnoMax impressively explains science and its effects on technology in every-day life. Despite the complexity of some of the more than 150 exhibits, they are addressing all age-groups and are presented in an engaging, easily understandable manner.
TechnoMax topics and themes include amongst others Gravitation, Light & Color, Optics, Mathematics, Water & Weather, Nature & Structure, Electricity, Waves & Motion, Sound & Music, Communications, Computing, and the Internet. The TechnoMax section will also include a tethered balloon, taking visitors to a height of 150 meters.
IMA (Jersey) Ltd has conceived the exposition and is its supplier. The manufacture of exhibits will be effected in collaboration with the San Francisco Exploratorium, with the Swiss Technorama, as well as selected sponsors.


A key SaigoMax section is ShowMax - which stands for theatre, movie, music and other performances. While there is rapidly increasing demand for international entertainment content in Vietnam, existing offerings are limited in scope and quality.
ShowMax consists of three key elements: (1) a digital multiplex cinema, (2) a 1,500 seat state-of-the art indoor performance stage, and (3) two outdoor stages (one small and one large).
ShowMax shall play a vital role in making SaigoMax the main hub for modern culture in Vietnam. It will offer high quality performance facilities to local and international artists and musicians. Especially with respect to classical and jazz orchestras, major theatrical performances, and large-scale pop concerts, ShowMax shall represent the best entertainment venue available and will draw international talent. Stage and supporting equipment will be chiefly manufactured by Eberhard AG (Switzerland).
The digital multiplex cinema (supplied by Kinoton GmbH, Germany) will offer the country's very best quality in terms of vision and sound. Educational/documentary films will be shown during daytime. Major feature films are regularly screened during late afternoon and evening hours. On special occasions, there will be outdoor movie showings.
ShowMax also includes a number of food and drink outlets, as well as a modern bar/club specifically targeting 16-30 year olds.


The RideMax section will feature many of the world's most modern and best-liked entertainment rides and attractions, aesthetically integrated into the SaigoMax landscape and themeing concept.
RideMax shall initially include attractions such as Wild Water Flume Ride, Poseidon Water Coaster, Blue Runaway Train, Wild Mouse Coaster, Indoor Theme Boat Ride, the new Euro-MIR Coaster, Excursion Floats, and Fjord Rafting. Additionally, there will be many children's carousels, play-dens, and a state-of-the-art electronic games arcade. RideMax attractions will be updated and expanded in regular intervals.
A monorail train connects various segments of the park and provides transportation to and from different sections. It also offers an overview of almost the entire park. An endless monocable cable car, manufactured by Leitner AG (Italy) spans across the park. A mini-railroad, manufactured by Balson AG (Switzerland), winds its way through the terrain.
All equipment is of the latest technology. Rides comply with the world's most stringent safety code - Germany's "TÜV".
RideMax' monorail, main attractions and selected additional equipment will be supplied by Heinrich Mack GmbH (Germany).


SplashMax shall be one of Asia's most sophisticated water parks, bringing "refreshing" fun and excitement to the whole family. The SplashMax concept combines sporty activities with plain open-air fun.
Grouped around a huge wave-pool and several children's activity pools, there are a number of water-slides and "river- and raft-rides", some equipped with a variety of partly interactive elements, such as sprays, jets, waterfalls as well as optical and electronic fun-components.
The SplashMax waterpark's main features shall include: 10-Lane Multislide, Lazy River, Typhoons, Harakiris, a Wave Pool, Balloon Island, Family Slide, River Rides, and Children's Play-Pools. Additionally, a large selection of sportive fun-equipment, such as trampolines and swings, will be available throughout the area.
The SplashMax admission is affordably priced to induce frequent visits, in line with Vietnam's climatic conditions and the park's 365-days operations.
SplashMax equipment will be chiefly supplied by the René Mettler Freizeit & Sport Company (Switzerland).

Other Elements
SaigoMax shall offer a broad and diverse selection of Vietnamese and international food for all different kinds of tastes, and at affordable prices. Facilities shall include a high quality restaurant with international & Asian cuisine, Vietnamese and Chinese rice- and noodle-based eateries, pizzerias, hamburger and sandwich bars, Vietnamese and international barbecues, in addition to a "Biergarten", ice cream parlors, and coffee shops. There will also be a number of vending carts, vending booths, and designated areas for picnics.
The central kitchen's equipment will primarily be supplied by ELRO-Werke AG (Switzerland). The entire food and beverage section shall be designed and set up by Peter Knipp Holdings Pte Ltd (Singapore).
The park will feature a number of retail shops stocking souvenir and convenience articles. Merchandise will be offered by SaigoMax and other brands.
SaigoMax shall provide attractive facilities for travelling exhibitions, seminars, small trade shows, and promotional events. These facilities can be accessed from within the park, as well as directly by way of a special gate from the entrance plaza.
And there will be some other features - but those we wish to keep as a surprise! Click here to get notified early.
A substantial investment in infrastructural and administrative elements will secure the safe, clean and efficient operations of SaigoMax.

For more information, visit at

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Saigon Real Estate Corporation with its projects in Saigon

Tran Hung Dao
Office And Apartment
20 storeys

An Phu Apartment
20 storeys

An Phu E Apartment
16 storeys

Hoang Sa Apartment
104 Mai Thi Luu st.
18 storeys

Lai Kai
29 storeys

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Saigon Real Estate Corporation with its projects in Saigon

Ly Thai To Building
28 storeys

Mai Thi Luu Apartment
18 storeys

District 5 Center
20 storeys

Dong Hung Apartment
16 storeys
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