Ho Chi Minh City to auction 15 prime land plots in Thu Thiem area

By Trung Son    July 26, 2019 | 07:33 am PT
Ho Chi Minh City to auction 15 prime land plots in Thu Thiem area
The planned Thu Thiem Urban Area in HCMC's District 2 seen from above. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
HCMC will auction 15 'golden' land plots to attract large investors to develop the Thu Thiem New Urban Area and avoid state revenue losses.

Ho Chi Minh City Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong Friday assigned the Management Board of Thu Thiem New Urban Area to map out 15 land plots located in Functional Areas No.3 and 4. These will serve as a basis to determine the starting price for auctioning.

The city authorities said they will also work with representatives of the Thu Thiem Church and the Thu Thiem Congregation of the Holy Cross in order to acquire land for the construction of a road along the Sai Gon River.

The authorities had earlier pledged to retain major parts of these two religious complexes that are over 100 years old, but said adjustments will be made to nearby areas to make them match with their zoning.

Thu Thiem New Urban Area is a 657 hectares (1,623 acres) megaproject to develop the city into an international financial hub, located on its namesake peninsula in the south-east of HCMC.

Function Area No.3, situated along the peninsula’s north bank, is planned to be a mixed residential and high-rise multi-functional commercial area, while Function Area No.4 is planned as a mixed area with residences, high-density multi-functional commercial complexes and local administration offices.

The latest decision on the auction was made after the Government Inspectorate in late June delivered its findings on a list of violations committed by city authorities on the allocation of state capital and the wrongful awarding of build-transfer (BT) contracts for the megaproject's infrastructure projects.

It also suggested that the city auction off some land lots to prevent loss of state revenue and attract big investors for this megaproject.

The Thu Thiem New Urban Area, touted for the last two decades as the next central business district, was originally a densely populated but underdeveloped area in the last century.

Plans to develop the area were made in the 1990's, and land acquisition began in 2002. An international design competition was held, and in 2003, a submission by U.S. design firm Sasaki Associates was selected.

Thu Thiem residents have filed complaints and lawsuits for years, citing violations of authorities, making the project mired in repeated delays.

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