HCMC puts land under the hammer for $1.1 bln in new 'city of dreams'

By Huu Cong   May 7, 2018 | 02:00 pm PT
HCMC puts land under the hammer for $1.1 bln in new 'city of dreams'
A scale model of Thu Thiem urban area, where 15,000 households have been moved out to make room for the megaproject of Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Cong
Officials claim that residents are being paid appropriate compensation to make way for the project.

Nine plots of land in Ho Chi Minh City’s Thu Thiem new urban area are set to be auctioned for VND27 trillion ($1.1 billion), according to local authorities.

The plots, spanning 78,000 square meters (19.2 acres) in the center of Thu Thiem Peninsula, have been cleared but infrastructure is yet to be completed. Six of the plots will be used for residential areas, and the rest for commercial purposes, city authorities said.

The $1.1 billion price tag has been calculated based on the cost of investment, land use fees, technical infrastructure and roads.

The project is an important part of the city's development, so foreign investors are likely show an interest, said Vo Van Hoan, chief of staff at Ho Chi Minh People's Committee.

“The city is auctioning the lots in order to develop the urban area and give people the opportunity for a better life,” Hoan said, while adding that residents had been paid fair resettlement fees.

Investors will be selected according to criteria set by the city, including their ability to meet deadlines, Hoan said.

The Thu Thiem new urban area in District 2 spans 657 hectares (1,623-acre) across the Saigon River from the city's central District 1. The area, known as the "city of dreams", is set to become one of the biggest financial and commercial centers in Southeast Asia.

To develop the megaproject, the city has spent 10 years relocating 15,000 households and paying them VND30 trillion ($1.32 billion) in compensation.

However, an official blueprint for the areas of development that is a legal requirement for the project has gone missing, prompting locals to file lawsuits over the relocation plans.

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