Developers pile in to tender for Southwest New City

In a sign of renewed confidence in a controversial project, more than 50 companies have signalled their interest in developing Southwest New City. Regional government officials say all have bought tender forms in preparation for bidding to take part.

Yangon regional government invited tenders last month for the 11,716-acre site, bordered by the Pan Hlaing River, the Twante-Yangon Canal, the Hlaing River and the Hlaing Tharyar-Twante Road in western Yangon.

Last September the project was suspended amid concerns over the lack of transparency in the tendering process. At the time, villagers made it clear that they wanted the area to be developed, and asked for the project to be restarted.

Southwest New City has since emerged as of one of seven slated as satellite developments as part of the Yangon 2040 plan. It is to be the second to be built, after a satellite city to the northeast of the city.

Would-be developers paid K50,000 for the tender application forms, but a successful candidate will have to deposit K5 billion (US$4 million) in the Myanmar Economic Bank.

The deadline for submission of sealed tenders is August 18. Yangon Mayor U Hla Myint has promised that the project will be handled transparently.

Real estate experts will be watching to see the effect, if any, of the tender process on land values in the underdeveloped area. The days when an announcement of a major development project could send values soaring have passed, amid disillusionment over stalled plans and the taint of corruption. The designation of Thanlyin township as the future third Yangon satellite city just last week had no visible effect, with local agents describing the response from potential land buyers as “nearly nonexistent”.

Land prices in the Southwest New City area are lower than they were a year ago. Following the announcement of the new town plan in 2014, prices topped K5 million an acre, according to real estate agents.

The new town plan is one of seven housing projects to be built as part of the Greater Yangon Development Strategic Plan for 2040, designed by the regional government and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), according to the July 13 tender announcement.

Source: Myanmar Times

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