» » Boat owners in the sights of Vietnamese developers

Real estate developers in the Vietnamese city of Ho Chi Minh City are now incorporating boating facilities into new riverside housing developments, according to a recent report in Dau tu Chung Khoan.

The developer of the high-rise Saigon Pearl project has begun construction of a VND400 billion (US$210,000) marina and a yacht club on the Saigon River side of the project. When completed in 2011 the marina will provide slips for 130 powerboats and sailboats.

The developer of the US$300 million Diamond Island project, Binh Thien An Company, also plans a marina to serve future residents. From the 8 hectare area at the junction of the Saigon and Giong Ong To rivers in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 2, a powerboat can reach Bach Dang wharf in the central area of the city in ten minutes.

To kick off the project, Binh Thien An has purchased a US$2 million Princess 58 yacht and christened it ‘Diamond Island.’ It is being used to bring prospective buyers to the Diamond Island project.

Tai Nguyen Manufacturing and Trading Company, developer of the Kenton Residences in South Saigon, a project that’s a considerable distance from center city, has confirmed plans to build a wharf which is able to accommodate 20 to 30 boats and integrated with a riverside park.

When Tan Hung Investment JSC announced the development of its US$700 million Hung Dien Trade and Residential Quarter project in south west Ho Chi Minh City in 2008, it said there would be a marina for residents who wish to commute to downtown by powerboat or sailboat.

Le Hoang Chau, Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Real Estate Association, confirmed the trend toward designing marinas into upscale housing projects, saying it should be encouraged because marinas not only add glamour and value to the projects and beautify the city’s landscape, but they will also promote tourism.

According to Chau, projects including marinas are always upscale projects that target high income earners. A sailboat alone may cost several hundred thousand dollar or more, and the associated services are also costly.

Chau stressed that if only real estate developers promote marinas, it will be very difficult to develop tourism associated with recreational boating. Thus, he said, the local authorities should cooperate to develop tourism on river.

“Rivers mustn’t be regarded as an obstacle, but as a great asset to the city. If the city can improve the quality of the water in our canals and river, it will be able to develop water tourism,” Chau said.

Other experts think that because traffic jams have become endemic in the Ho Cho Minh City area, water-borne transport should be seen as part of a solution.

Reported by Andrew Batt
Managing Editor/ Property-Report.com

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