Archive | June, 2011

Khai Hoan Paradise Apartment

25 Jun





Location: Nha Be District, Hochiminh City.
Land area: 19.820 m2.
Gross floor area: 131.028 m2 | 3 blocks | 27 storeys.
The owner: K95 Joint-Stock Company.
Architects: Alinco.
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Korea Is Building The City Of The Future On An Artificial Island

25 Jun
VNREThe most exciting real estate project in the world is already alive and breathing on an artificial island in the Yellow Sea. It’s called Songdo International Business District, a high-tech, post-modern, green utopia.

Planned business districts like London’s Docklands and Shanghai’s Pudong are usually placed to maximize convenience for workers to get to work and other existing office areas. But South Korea is investing tens of billions of dollars to build a new city in the sea.

The reason is that Songdo aims not to be a hub for Korea, but a hub for all of Asia. Songdo is envisioned an aerotropolis. The island is positioned for easy access to Incheon International Airport via a seven-mile-long suspension bridge. South Korea is betting that for hyper-mobile global corporations, connectedness to other business hubs overseas will be a lot more important than the local area.

The city is only nominally Korean. The lingua franca of Songdo is English. The school is projected to be 70% non-Korean. Even the city plan adopts elements of foreign cities. From their website:

Songdo IBD boasts the wide boulevards of Paris, a 100-acre Central Park reminiscent of New York City, a system of pocket parks similar to those in Savannah, a modern canal system inspired by Venice and convention center architecture redolent of the famed Sydney Opera House.

If Songdo is without history and sense of place, but it’s also the first city-sized green building project. The city is 40% green space and the transportation infrastructure encourages bicycling and walking. The entire project is built according to LEED standards.

It’s also a fully wired city. The developers teamed up with Cisco to provide TelePresence in every home, office, school and hospital in the city.

Sounds like science fiction? Or a waste of money? Songdo is still a few years away from completion, but according to developers Gale International, 22,000 of the expected 65,000 permanent residents have already moved into the city and more are expected to come. China is also planning on building new cities modeled after Songdo. Perhaps this isn’t so outlandish after all.

http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=104087
Reported by Vincent Trivett | Business Insider

Accor celebrates 20 years of operating in Vietnam

24 Jun

VNRE – Accor, the largest operator of hotels in Asia Pacific and Vietnam, celebrated two decades of success in hospitality leadership in Hanoi. Accor operates 11 hotels throughout the country ranging from the mid-range Novotel and Mercure to the upscale MGallery and luxury Sofitel brands. The company has a strategic expansion plan which will add 15 new hotels to the network and will see the arrival of two additional Accor products – the Pullman brand and the leading economy hotel brand of Accor, ibis.

“Accor was a pioneer entrant to the hotel sector in Vietnam, arriving in 1991 and marked the beginning of a journey that has since seen the company lead the international hotel industry in the country” says Michael Issenberg, Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Accor Asia Pacific. “Consistent economic growth, infrastructure investment, improved air access and international tourism appeal ensures that Vietnam today, as in the past, remains a country with significant potential for expansion for the hotel industry. As the country’s leading operator, Accor remains committed to selective expansion and to the introduction of new brands as the market matures.”

Unrivalled Expansion

Today Accor announces further expansion of its network in Vietnam with three new hotels. Novotel Hue will be a newly built 230-room hotel located in the centre of the ancient capital of Vietnam, with facilities that include three food and beverage outlets, a ballroom, meeting facilities, as well as a swimming pool and spa.

Novotel Danang Han River will be the second Accor hotel in Danang after Mercure Danang opens later this year. This 346 room hotel is to be located near the Han River in the city centre.

Mercure Sam Son will be a new hotel of 200 rooms in Sam Son, a coastal city in Thanh Hoa Province, 170kms south of Hanoi. Beyond these three new hotels, Accor has development commitments for a total of 15 hotels in Vietnam. These new hotels will further extend Accor’s reach throughout the country and will add 3,700 new rooms to Accor’s Vietnam hotel network. Development commitments include:

2011
Mercure Danang – 279 rooms

2012
Pullman Danang Olalani Resort – 197 rooms
Pullman Vung Tau – 350 rooms
Novotel Dalat – 175 rooms
Novotel Danang Han River – 346 rooms
Novotel Phu Quoc Resort – 234 rooms
Novotel Saigon Centre – 250 rooms
Mercure Hanoi Hado – 222 rooms

2013
Pullman Saigon Centre – 290 rooms
Pullman Hai Phong Island Resort – 300 rooms
Novotel Hue – 230 rooms
Mercure Son Tra Resort – 120 rooms
Mercure Sam Son – 200 rooms
Ibis Saigon South – 170 rooms
Ibis Saigon Centre – 338 rooms

A proud period of accomplishments

“Accor has built solid relationships with our business partners in Vietnam, earning trust and respect while providing leading expertise, systems and opportunities to the hotel industry in the country.” says Patrick Basset, Vice President for Accor Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan and South Korea. “We have long been committed to the hotel industry in the country and remain excited by the continued growth and the opportunity that the country offers Accor.”

Accor’s foray into Vietnam 20 years ago was through the Metropole Hotel, now known as Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi. This inaugural management contract in partnership with Hanoi Tourist Corporation remains in place to this day. Five years later, in 1996, it became the first hotel in Vietnam to receive the first five-star rating provided by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT). In 1998, Accor introduced the Novotel brand to Vietnam – Novotel Phan Thiet Ocean Dunes & Golf Resort and soon followed with the opening of its first sales office in Ho Chi Minh City.

Committed to the industry and the people of Vietnam Accor is one of the country’s largest employers within the tourism sector and is committed to developing the talent that will lead the future of the industry in the country. In 2008, Accor inaugurated the first Master Degree programme in Hospitality Management in Vietnam and an ongoing sponsorship of student scholarships with Pole Universitaire Francais, the Hanoi University and the University of Toulouse II – Le Mirail. This program has resulted in eight sponsored students graduating from the programme and now all working within Accor hotels, some of whom are already in management positions. Today, we are announcing scholarships for three more students.

These successful candidates will receive scholarships that will cover 50% of their school fees and after they complete the one year course and six month training programme, they will automatically be accepted to work with Accor for at least 2 years. This completes a cycle of study, training and entering the workforce following graduation.

Source: Travel Daily News
Photos courtesy: Dep Online Magazine.

More luxury housing up for grabs

23 Jun
VNREThe high-end housing segment is facing tougher sales challenges than others but some high-end housing developers are continuing to launch their projects onto the market.

An Tay Corporation, for example, is pressing on with a plan to market a luxury villa project called The Headquarters underway on Nguyen Huu Tho Street in HCMC’s District 7.

Ngo Tran Cong Luan, general manager of An Tay Corporation, said 46 villas measuring 614 to 1,813 square meters each would be offered at between VND12 billion and VND72 billion per unit.

Luan said those villas were designed for those in need of accommodation and businessmen who are looking for spacious spaces to set up their head offices.

Some VND350 billion has been invested in the project. Each villa comes with four stories including a basement for parking six cars and motorbikes.

Luan said that with businessmen targeted as main buyers, those villas might be turned into offices, showrooms, galleries or restaurants.

Work has been finished on the basement, and the entire project is scheduled for completion by February 2013.

In another development, Pau Jar Group has started marketing The Flemington condo project on Le Dai Hanh Street in HCMC’s District 11 after three years of construction.

The Taiwanese developer has appointed Saigon Phuong Nam Real Estate Company (SAPro) as exclusive agent to sell the project’s high-end apartments in Tower A with prices starting from US$1,800 per square meter.

The project has three blocks of 21-23 levels, with towers A and B for 300 apartments and tower C for office and commercial spaces.

Chuang Huei Jen, deputy general director of Pau Jar Vietnam, said this was the first property project the group had developed to mark its presence in Vietnam’s market, and that it wanted to build confidence among local buyers by selling fully completed apartments.

The developer said every apartment had been issued an ownership certificate, so the buyer would be able to get it after a full payment was made.

Another company, SetiaBecamex JSC, on Saturday launched the final phase of the Garden of Splendor precinct in EcoLakes My Phuoc project in the southern province of Binh Duong.

The Malaysian developer began offering 50 row houses with the starting price put at VND9 million per square meter, or around VND1.3 billion per unit.

Ecolakes My Phuoc covers 226 hectares in the province, and when in place it will provide some 10,000 homes.

Reported by Dinh Dung | The Saigon Times

Property developers undeterred by slowdown

23 Jun
VNREDespite slow sales in the high-end property sector, many real estate developers are still launching new projects.

Interest rate support, flexible payment terms, lucky draws and discounts are among the multiple incentives developers are offering to attract customers.

One determined developer is Khang Dien Housing Trading and Investment Joint Stock Company which on Saturday started marketing its luxury Goldora Villa project on Lien Phuong Road in Phu Huu Ward in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 9.

This project covers some eight hectares with 119 villas, with prices starting from VND6.5 billion per unit.

Ly Dien Son, general director of Khang Dien, said the company had decided to launch the project to assert its business development strategy in spite of current challenges and that the company had received feedback from the market ever since it launched its Villa Park project which is near the newly launched project.

Villa Park is jointly developed by Khang Dien Co and Prudential Vietnam Fund Management Co, a Prudential subsidiary.

It has 213 villas and garden row houses and serviced utilities such as swimming pools, Jacuzzis, barbecue gardens, sport clubs, tree parks and a kindergarten.

A VND1.5 trillion has been allocated for the first phase of the residential project.

Dien said some 60 villas in the first phase of the Villa Park project were sold with prices ranging from VND3 billion to VND9 billion a unit, which encouraged the developer to move on with its second villa project in the area.

In another development in the same area, VinaCapital Real Estate Company is pressing ahead with a plan to launch a residential project later this year after it saw success in its first project nearby.

David Henry, managing director of the company, said the company would invest some US$40 million in the Garland 2 project with 72 villas and four condominium towers.

The firm is expected to get positive feedback from the market as seen in the Garland 1 project whose 53 villas have been snapped up.

The high-end segment on Saturday saw the Singaporean property company Keppel Land Limited and its local partner Tan Truong Company launch their mixed-use development in HCMC’s District 7.

Some 193 apartments in its Riviera Point project along the Ca Cam River in District 7 are offered from VND30.7 million (US$1,460) per square meter.

The US$200 million project has 18 residential towers with a total of 2,400 apartments of two to four bedrooms.

Like other projects, it has spaces for retail shops, food and beverage outlets, and recreational facilities. As planned, the first phase of this project with 549 apartments will be completed by 2014.

Linson Lim, president of Keppel Land International for Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines, agreed that the current residential market was tough for all developers.

However, the Singaporean company has a long-term development strategy in Vietnam where it expects to overcome challenges in the coming time.

Flexible payment methods

While a number of developers look optimistic, many others are struggling to do all they can to lure buyers with various incentives.

For example, Novaland Company has started up a free-staying program to get buyers’ feedback for its 39 apartments in the Sunrise City project in HCMC’s District 7.

In the program, the buyer will place a deposit equivalent to 20 percent of the total value of an apartment when they sign a contract.

The buyer then will make an additional payment equivalent to 60% to take the apartments. They are eligible to stay in the apartments for two years without paying a fee.

After two years, they will pay the remaining 20% if they want to buy the apartments. If they don’t, they can return their apartments to the company and take back their deposits together with the interest.

For its part, Phat Dat Corporation allows buyers to pay in 48 installments in its EverRich 2 condo project in District 7.

Instead of fixing a payment schedule, the company is willing to design a payment method that fits each buyer’s monthly income.

The first required deposit is 10 percent of the total value of an apartment and from the second to 47th payment, the buyer will pay a mere 1.3 percent at a time.

The company calculates that for a VND2.5 billion apartment, the buyer can pay about VND40 million per month.

The amount of payment is believed to suit the income of a young family.

Source: The Saigon Times

Attention to Architects and Urban Planners

22 Jun
Contest “Thong Nhat Park: A Place for All”: is calling for application
Deadline for submission proposals: 16 Jul 2011

VNRE – The Vietnam Urban Planning Development Association, Lac Viet Centre for Community Support and Development and the Globalization Research Center at the University of Hawaii are organizing a contest for young architects and urban planners titled “Thong Nhat Park: A Place for All”.

Through the development of proposals, and the implementation of the winning project, the contest encourages young architects and urban planners to develop their skills by working with communities in designing or renovating public spaces.

Process of contest:

1. 20 June-16 July: Prepare proposals for submission to the review committee.

2. 16-21 July: Selection of 5 finalists. Each of the finalists will be invited to participate in a workshop that will help them improve their proposals. They will then present their proposals to the selection committee. The winning proposal will be offered $4,000 to develop a more detailed plan for the park. Two other proposals will be offered encouragement prizes of $500 each for the contribution of their ideas.

3. August-December: Develop detailed plan for renovation of Thong Nhat Park.

Application:

Students and recent graduates of architecture and urban planning are encouraged to apply. The application process is as follows:

1. Applicants should prepare a five-page proposal. Proposals that are chosen for presentation to the selection committee will have a clear concept and set of goals, and show evidence of research, discussions with park management and users, offer examples of design elements, and present a draft-funding plan for implementation of their plan.

2. Applicants should apply as a team of up to five (5) persons. The role of each person on the team should be identified. A team leader should be selected. Each team should include a faculty advisor and may also include community members.

3. Applications should be sent in Vietnamese and English

4. Applications can include text, graphics, and maps.

For more information, contact to:
Lac Viet Centre for Community Support and Development
1 Trang Tien Str, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Email: info@lacvietcentre.vn
Website: http://www.hanoi.org.vn/publiccity

Luke Donald to design first golf club in Vietnam project

20 Jun

VNRE – Those who follow developments in Asia closely, will be aware that shortly after assuming the mantle of the World’s highest ranked professional golfer, England’s Luke Donald bowed to the inevitable and announced he was designing his first course, in Danang, Vietnam. The project is known as Ba Na Hills, and Donald will be ‘designing’ the course in association with IMG Golf Course Services.

For those with more than a passing interest in design and golf course development in Asia, to give you some background here – it was announced back in November 2010 that Ba Na Hills had selected IMG to design its golf course, the press release from IMG stating at the time that ‘the first 18 holes at Ba Na Hills are now under detailed design. Construction is scheduled to start sometime in early 2011.’

Brit Stenson, who is the Director of Design for IMG, and presumably now the ghost-designer for Luke Donald, announced at the time that ‘Ba Na Hills presents an outstanding opportunity given its great mix of topography and existing vegetation. That mix will certainly make Ba Na Hills unique among the golf clubs in the Da Nang area, and I am sure it will become one of the best courses in Vietnam.’

In May 2011, it was further announced that IMG had also been selected as construction managers for Ba Na Hills – and that construction of the course was already underway. The General Director of Sun Group (the developer) stated that, ‘having previously selected IMG as the golf course designer for our Ba Na Hills project, there was excellent synergy to also appoint them in this construction management role.” He added that completion of the golf course was expected in late 2012.

Then came last weeks announcement that Luke Donald’s first foray into design would be the Ba Na Hills project in Vietnam, which we now know is already under construction. Donald, for his part, commented that he was “really happy with how the current design is looking on paper and looks forward to getting on site later this year to further refine the detailed design features.”

The fact that a client would engage IMG and wait until the course was under construction before ‘choosing’ which famous player would be held up as its ‘designer’ should come as no great surprise. Choice and range of celebrity players is, after all, the chief, and possibly only, benefit to engaging IMG Design as your course architects.

The fact that Ba Na Hills is already being built, and Luke Donald has only just become involved in the project and won’t be on site until later in the year, is going to make it more difficult when finished for IMG to hoodwink us into believing he really had anything to do with its design.

As we’ve reported previously on this site, modern golfers who chase the cash and team up with companies like IMG for signature projects had better not fall in love with design or plan to later establish standalone signature businesses, because poor work done in your name will be held against you down the track. One suspects Donald is more interested in playing professionally anyway than developing any serious design career, which is true of almost every present-day tournament celebrity.

Vietnam is a country with limited appeal to the traveling golfer, and every new project carries great expectation and hope that the wider tourism industry will benefit from its completion. So far results have been mostly underwhelming, and while we don’t expect Luke Donald’s involvement to buck the trend and raise the standard of design at IMG to any serious heights, we look forward nonetheless to reviewing Ba Na Hills when it opens. At this stage we aren’t sure whether this particular Vietnamese client should be viewed as being shrewd for waiting until an affordable IMG star was World number 1 before making their ‘design’ decision, or foolish for not waiting even longer in the chance than Donald’s form might slip and another IMG star replace him atop the rankings.

Source:Planet Golf | Photo courtesy of Sun Group.