Ho Chi Minh City authorities have rejected the continued implementation of a 6.8-hectare mixed-use development and shopping center project that was limited by four roads: Nguyen Trai, Cong Quynh, Tran Dinh Xu, and Nguyen Cu Trinh (Ma Lang area) after 16 years of delay.
Ho Chi Minh City rejected the investor of a complex and commercial center project on the ground of Ma Lang area (District 1), planning to withdraw and deploy a new project – Photo: VNA
According to a report by TTXVN, at the request of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, the Department of Planning and Investment and the Department of Justice have been tasked with drafting a letter of rejection to the investor of a mixed-use complex and shopping center project on the Ma Lang land plot in District 1, Bitexco Group, due to a lack of basis for continued consideration after a long period of delay.
Additionally, the construction of the new Saigon General Hospital project, which was planned to relinquish its existing site (at 125 Le Loi Street) to Bitexco for the development of a high-rise commercial office and 5-star hotel complex, has also been suspended.
According to the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, the Ma Lang area, also known as the Nguyen Cu Trinh quadrangle, is bounded by four roads: Nguyen Trai, Cong Quynh, Tran Dinh Xu, and Nguyen Cu Trinh. Before 1975, it was a cemetery but was later relocated by the city. Around 1980, new entrepreneurs returned and established a dense residential area in the center of District 1, with over 530 households living in tiny, deteriorated houses that were likened to the district’s slums.
In 2000, Ho Chi Minh City initiated a plan to clear the Ma Lang area with a total area of 6.8 hectares and assigned Saigon Real Estate Corporation to carry out the project, but it was delayed. In 2007, the project was handed over to Bitexco to develop a hotel complex, office building, and shopping center.
However, it wasn’t until early 2017 that the city issued a document instructing the Department of Natural Resources and Environment to review the legal framework and coordinate with the functional agencies of District 1 to carry out land reclamation and compensation. A total of 1,424 houses needed to be cleared, and the relocation and resettlement process was expected to begin in June 2018. However, the project has continued to be suspended until now due to legal entanglements. In mid-2022, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee assigned research units to consult on terminating the project based on legal grounds.
At a specialized meeting on delayed projects, Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Bui Xuan Cuong assigned the Department of Planning and Investment, Department of Justice, Department of Internal Affairs, and District 1 People’s Committee to urgently carry out the revocation and termination of the investment policy, propose a feasible investment plan for the Ma Lang area project in the second quarter of 2023, ensuring compliance with legal regulations and suitability to the practical situation, and maximizing the interests of the people. In case of difficulties or obstacles, the District 1 People’s Committee will consult with the Department of Natural Resources and Environment and the Department of Justice to carry out the plan.