Singapore developer CapitaLand plans to build a 240 metre tall office tower in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, apparently anchored by at least four storeys of shopping mall.
While CapitaLand has already established a strong presence in Vietnam in the accommodation and serviced apartment sectors, this tower would mark its first foray into retail. Fellow Singapore developers Keppel and Mapletree have both built shopping centres in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam’s most-populated city.
CapitaLand Vietnam released an artist’s impression of the new building on Tuesday which clearly shows a strong retail component. In the statement it said the building would incorporate “exciting retail offerings, including some of the city’s best restaurants and cafes, lifestyle and entertainment outlets” on levels above and below ground.
But when approached for more details, a CapitaLand spokesman declined to reveal further details.
Also apparently secret is the precise location of the new development, other than it is in the heart of District 1, the CBD, and on the riverfront. CapitaLand says construction will commence in the first quarter – but refused to reveal the exact location of the 0.6ha site it has acquired.
The development – of an unspecified number of storeys – will be built by CapitaLand’s wholly-owned subsidiary CapitaLand Vietnam Holdings. It will be the company’s first international Grade A office tower in Vietnam and connected with the metro railway line currently under construction. Both are expected to open in 2020.
Lim Ming Yan, president & group CEO of CapitaLand said in a statement that the acquisition and development of the project serves to diversify CapitaLand’s portfolio and strengthen its foothold in Vietnam.
“It is also in line with our plan to establish a US$500 million investment fund to focus on commercial properties in Vietnam. CapitaLand has a 22-year track record in Vietnam which has delivered to-date, 22 serviced residences, nine residential developments and now, a prime commercial property. Given its strong growth outlook and positive market sentiments, we are excited to be a long-term player in Vietnam’s growth story and will continue to look out for opportunities to grow our footprint.”
An eye-catching feature of the building will be lush open terraces towards the top of the tower, “bursting with greenery where tenants can meet, network or relax while enjoying unobstructed views of the Saigon River and the city”.
It is within walking distance to the city’s vibrant shopping and entertainment area, and CapitaLand’s Ascott Waterfront Saigon – a 222-unit luxury serviced residence due to open in July 2017.
Vietnam is CapitaLand’s third largest market in Southeast Asia, after Singapore and Malaysia. Last November, CapitaLand announced plans to set up a US$500 million fund to invest in commercial properties in Vietnam; its second one after a US$200 million fund launched in 2010 which has been fully invested in the development of three residential projects in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.