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Real estate agency to tap investors for US$21B Ho Chi Minh City upgrade

The Ho Chi Minh Real Estate Association is looking to raise funds to improve the city under a more than US$21 billion urban development program, the Nikkei Asian Review reported.

The real estate association gathered representatives of 100 Vietnamese and Japanese businesses in Ho Chi Minh City earlier in March to discuss blueprints of the development program of Vietnam's commercial hub, which is facing traffic and environmental challenges related to its population of about 10 million.

The New Urban Area project, started in 2011, forms one of the largest parts of the city's upgrade program and involves developing a new district at Thu Thiem on 657 hectares across the east bank of the Saigon River, according to the March 30 report. The district will house over 130,000 residents and includes an 86-story, mixed-use skyscraper.

Additionally, 474 old apartment buildings in the city are anticipated to be refurbished, and funds will also be used to improve and build canals, lakes and rivers. The projects will involve relocating more than 20,000 households and are scheduled to be finalized in 2020.