Foreign developers fuel commercial boom in Yangon

Large commercial complexes are popping up in Yangon as foreign property developers seek to cash in on an expected surge in consumer spending in one of Southeast Asia’s least-developed nations.

Vietnamese real estate developer Hoang Anh Gia Lai will partially open a huge commercial complex this month featuring what will be the largest shopping mall in Myanmar. Thailand’s Fragrant Property and other foreign developers are planning to build similar facilities in the country’s business capital.

The Vietnamese company is shelling out $440 million to develop the HAGL Myanmar Center, located in Yankin, the prime shopping and entertainment district in Yangon. Construction on the complex, which has a total area of 73,000 sq. meters, started in the summer of 2013 and is expected to be completed in 2017.

The lower five stories of the 27-story building are opening ahead of other parts of the complex and will house retail shops and other commercial facilities. Luxury Swiss watch and jewelry brand Chopard and Italy’s Ermenegildo Zegna, a maker of upmarket men’s clothing, are opening their first stores in the country there.

The centerpiece of the HAGL project is a shopping mall dedicated to information technology products, the first of its kind in Myanmar. The mall’s target customers are the growing ranks of middle-class consumers in the increasingly vibrant commercial hub.

The skyscraper will also house some 50 clothing and cosmetics shops, more than 30 cafes and fast food restaurants and a 400-room hotel operated by Spain’s Melia group.

Upscale condominiums with 1,800 units will be built nearby. Prices for the units start at $170,000, far out of reach for average consumers in the country, who earn $100-200 per month.

The condos have proved popular among business owners and other wealthier individuals, however. The developer has started accepting advance orders for a third of the units, and 70% of them have already been sold.

Thailand’s Fragrant Property plans to build a large commercial complex in Yangon, dubbed the Nawaday Complex, at a total construction cost of some 10 billion baht ($282 million). The company has already purchased a 20,000-sq.-meter tract of land for the project.

The complex will be composed of a hotel, an office building and 100,000 sq. meters of shopping space. Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2016, with opening slated for 2020.

Source: Nikkei

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