CBRE apppointed as agent to new Cambodian resort
(Bangkok - February 11th2010) - CB Richard Ellis, the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm, has been appointed by The Royal Group of Cambodia as exclusive advisor and sole agent to introduce investors in developing the island of Koh Rong, Cambodia for international tourism and real estate development.
“CB Richard Ellis is delighted to be appointed as the lead consultant for Koh Rong. We are very conscious of our responsibilities to create a sustainable and ethical approach to the development of one of Southeast Asia’s most pristine and untouched islands” said David Simister, Chairman, CB Richard Ellis Thailand and Cambodia.
The Koh Rong archipelago, 30 minutes by boat from Cambodia’s main coastal town of Sihanoukville, is being hailed as the “next Asian Riviera” - following the success of Phuket, Ko Samui and Bali.
The Royal Group, renowned as Cambodia’s most dynamic and diversified business conglomerate, has been granted a 99-year lease by The Royal Government of Cambodia to develop Koh Rong, the largest private island in the region.
The company is headed by Chairman & CEO Neak Oknha Kith Meng, one of Cambodia’s most prominent tycoons. He said: “CBRE is an invaluable partner for advising Royal Group on development of this unique destination to international standards and promoting it to the global market.”
Koh Rong, Cambodia’s largest island covers 78 sq. kms, about a third of the size of Thailand’s Koh Samui, with a local population of approximately 1382 people from 317 families living in small fishing villages. The island remains virtually untouched with its 28 white sand beaches stretching up to 6 kilometers and crystal clear water comparable to the Maldives.
“The Koh Rong story is similar to that of Samui and Phuket 20 to 30 years ago,” said Mr. Simister. “It is one of the last undiscovered paradises in South-East Asia.”
Development opportunities are now opening up with a new international airport at nearby Sihanoukville, currently welcoming chartered flights and private jets. Flights from Phnom Penh and Siem Reap are expected to begin in the near future, with rumours of regional airlines also considering scheduled flights in 2010.
“The airport, once fully operational, will be the principal gateway to Cambodia’s southern coast and a critical catalyst for the area’s development,” he said.
An environmental impact study is already underway for the development of Koh Rong as “Asia’s first environmentally planned island”. A team of international consultants is now on board including Scott Wilson Engineers to oversee the environmental aspects and MAP Architects Hong Kong to create the Master Plan to be rolled out over the next three months.
Tourism development of Phuket and Koh Samui over the past 20 years is being studied to shorten the process of developing high quality, sustainable tourism at Koh Rong, while avoiding the mistakes of previous developments.
“The main focus is on developers with plans for exclusive, environmentally sensitive tourism projects,” said Mr. Simister.
Two to three golf courses can be accommodated on the island and new infrastructure will include plans for organic farming, waste management, improved education, jobs and medical care for the local population.
CBRE is also the sole agent for Song Saa Island Resort in the Koh Rong archipelago, the first international quality resort to be launched. Song Saa is an exclusive private island resort developed by Brocon Investment comprising 20 villas, of which only 14 are available for private ownership.
Song Saa has had an immediate success following an overseas launch in Phuket before Christmas. 85% of the units are booked by a global mix of investors including Norwegian, French, Hong Kong Chinese, Hong Kong expatriate, Japanese and British.
“The international market has clearly identified with the products. Pioneering investors in this new frontier are attracted by the low entry price, the guaranteed yield and expect to be rewarded by a significant upside in capital appreciation” said Mr. Simister.
“Song Saa marks the beginning of international development of the Cambodian coastline and is the first project to target foreign buyers. We believe the success of Song Saa’s eco-development model will be replicated on a larger scale in future developments on Koh Rong” added Mr. Simister.
He said the Koh Rong archipelago and Cambodian coastline has the potential to become the next Asian Riviera, comparable to established markets such as Phuket, Samui and Bali.
“Song Saa is merely the beginning of Cambodia’s coastline development, but its success has certainly put Cambodia on the map and is making global investors recognise Cambodia’s untapped development potential.”
The Royal Group has business interests in a wide range of industries such as telecommunication, media, banking (partner with ANZ Bank), insurance, education, trading, resorts and property, with interests extending to Cambodia’s railways with the subsidiary company Toll Holdings from Australia.
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