Abandoned Saigon skyscraper to go under the hammer

By Phuong Dong   March 29, 2018 | 08:27 pm PT
Abandoned Saigon skyscraper to go under the hammer
Saigon One Tower (L), which is designed to be the third tallest building in Ho Chi Minh City stands near the Bitexco Financial Tower, the tallest one in the city. Photo by VnExpress/Son Hoa
The bare frame of tower has been left untouched since the housing crisis in 2011 when its investors fell into bad debt.

A skyscraper in downtown Ho Chi Minh City that was supposed to be the third tallest in the city will be put up for auction after being seized by the government’s asset management company last year as collateral for the VND7 trillion ($308 million) debt its investors owe.

The Vietnam Asset Management Company (VAMC) has set the starting price for the Saigon One Tower at VND6.11 trillion ($267.6 million) and is looking for a company to hold the auction.

The 42-story tower with five basement floors stands 195 meters (640 feet) tall along major thoroughfare Ton Duc Thang Street in District 1, and covers a total commercial area of nearly 15,000 square meters (3.7 acres). It was supposed to include residential apartments, a shopping area and office space.

The VAMC seized the tower from the main investor the Saigon One Tower Joint Stock Company, formerly known as Saigon M&C Real Estate Join Stock Company, as collateral in August 2017, making the tower the first building to be seized under a decision by the country’s legislators to deal with bad debt.

Construction of the building started in 2007 and was scheduled for completion in 2009 with an investment of VND5 trillion, but the bare frame of over 6,700 square meters has been left untouched since 2011, the year the city’s housing market crashed.

A city spokesperson said last June that construction had ground to a halt due to conflicts between investors.

He also said the project had found a new investor and work would resume shortly, but that plan as yet has failed to become a reality.

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