Saigon tears down dangerous old apartment block

By Duy Tran   July 12, 2017 | 04:11 am PT
Residents had little choice but to leave, with eviction notices and crumbling walls surrounding them.

The last remaining residents of an apartment block in Ho Chi Minh City were moved out on Wednesday as a demolition crew moved in to pull the entire building down.

The city demolished all 175 apartments and 26 out of 134 row houses at the Co Giang complex in District 1.

Built in 1968, the building was in serious disrepair and could have collapsed at any time, local authorities said.


A cracked wall in the Co Giang apartment building. Photo by VnExpress/ Duy Tran

The city passed a plan in 2006 to knock down the building to make way for a 30-story project with more than 1,000 apartments, 300 of which will be used to resettle residents.

Residents that turn down the resettlement plan will be compensated VND750 million ($33,000) for each apartment, according to authorities.

The decision met with strong opposition from Co Giang's residents, who said they felt like they were being forced to leave their homes, and it took eviction threats to clear the building, hence the 11-year delay.

The demolition of Co Giang is part of HCMC's plan to replace all old apartment buildings, with blocks in Tan Binh District and District 3 scheduled for demolition this year.

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