Keangnam to Build Vietnam's Tallest Tower
A conceptual image of Keangnam Enterprise's Hanoi Landmark Tower complex. The main tower will be 70 stories high when completed in 2010 / Courtesy of keangnam Enterprise
By Cho Jin-seo
Keangnam Enterprise said it will start building a 70-story tower in Hanoi this month, which will be the tallest structure in Vietnam, to be completed by 2010.
The South Korean builder said Thursday that it has received approval from the Vietnamese government for the $1.05 billion project named the Hanoi Landmark Tower. The compound of one 70-story building and two 47-story apartments will be erected in the burgeoning town of Pham Hung about 22 kilometers from Hanoi, it said.
The construction of the Hanoi Landmark Tower will epitomize South Korean firms' growing interest in the Vietnamese market. The Southeast Asian nation was the third largest destination for Korea's overseas investment in the first six months of the year after China and the United States.
``Its prospects are very bright as more and more multinational firms are making inroads into Hanoi, pushing up the demand for hotels, offices and high-end apartments,'' said Kang Chang-mo, CEO of Keangnam. ``The Hanoi Landmark Tower will become a symbolic structure that shows South Korea's capability in building skyscrapers.''
The Landmark Tower compound will consist of three buildings that will house a five-star hotel, a furnished residence for foreigners, offices, apartments, a convention center and medical facilities.
The main tower will stand 336 meters tall, about 50 meters shorter than the Empire States Building in New York.
For the new project, an investment consortium led by Woori Bank will inject $500 million while Keangnam will finance the rest, the firm said.
Vietnamese cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) have been known for their low-lying French colonial-era buildings with Vietnamese characteristics. Currently, the Saigon Trade Center is the tallest building in the country at only 33 floors (145 meters) high. But along with the Keangnam tower, several more construction projects over 60 stories have either been approved or are under construction in the Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh areas, reflecting the country's prospering economy.
It is not the first time for a Korean-made building to dominate the Hanoi skyline. Daewoo Group opened the 18-story Hanoi Daewoo Hotel in 1996 when there was no building taller than 10 stories in the city.
The world's tallest building is the Burj Dubai in the United Arab Emirates at over 520 meters and growing. South Korea's Samsung Corp. is the leading builder of the project. It is planned to reach 800 meters high by 2008.
(THE KOREA TIMES)