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Koh Norea - Appealing To New Residents And Developers In Phnom Penh
Updated on: March 28, 2024, 6:47 a.m.
Published on: March 28, 2024, 4:14 a.m.

Koh Norea - Appealing To New Residents And Developers In Phnom Penh

Although previously seen as “a bit out of the way”, even for a relatively small city like Phnom Penh, the investment into connected infrastructure means that Koh Norea and the Chbar Ampov area are much more accessible and new malls, attractions and other amenities are making the area attractive for residents and developers.

Where Is Koh Norea & How Connected Is It?

Where Is Koh Norea & How Connected Is It?

Located to the east of the capital (we think it's southeast, but if you scan the property developers' news and media about the area, it feels like every point of the compass has been used to describe its geographical location). 

What can't be denied is that the area is situated along the southern banks of the Mekong River but has views of the Bassac River to its west and northwest, and is located to the north of Chbar Ampov. Actually, Koh Norea is a small tip of (mainly repurposed land) where the Mekong River flows into the Bassac River - with ‘Koh’ in Cambodian translating as island/peninsular.

The Chbar Ampov district (or Khan) itself was formed in December 2013, and although separated from the Phnom Penh city centre by the Bassac River, accessibility to the capital’s northern and southern regions is possible via two bridges.

A short drive across these will enable residents to easily reach Koh Pich as well as other landmarks such as the Independence Monument, Royal Palace, National Museum, Aeon Mall and Hun Sen Boulevard to the south which itself has become a prime location for all types of real estate developments seeing a plethora of shopping malls, condos and access to international schools. 

The scale of infrastructure developments throughout the city, but especially to the south and southeast of Phnom Penh, means new corridors of connectivity offer homeowners and developers new opportunities, therefore, there has been significantly increased interest in these areas.

The new Techo Takhmao International Airport development to the south of the city is currently on track with its first operational phase due in 2025. This is a major focal point of development as it is still not made clear how one of the largest airports in the world, when completed, will connect passengers to the city with dedicated bus lanes, potential light rail routes and other access all still being explored.

Cambodian Population & Economic Growth Spurs Infrastructure Investment

Phnom Penh Development

We have previously discussed the increasing urban population growth in the Kingdom, and the accompanying challenges this has and will create for the capital's infrastructure.

The Cambodian Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction adopting the Capital Phnom Penh Land Use Master Plan 2035 is the guide on land use and is intended to ensure the promotion of sustainable urban development.

An example of this is Phnom Penh’s largest interchange project - a flyover connecting Hun Sen and Monivong boulevards (Phnom Penh’s 6th flyover as well as the longest ever built). The first section is due to be complete before April 2024 and the final underpass and ramps should enter service in April 2025 and is hoped will alleviate congestion at this transport bottleneck.

But this is a constantly evolving landscape and the growing economic wealth of the population, sees it being on course for leaving the LDC (Least developed countries) in the next few years and potentially reaching the government's goals of middle and higher income classification in the future.

Norea City

The Overseas Cambodian Investment Corporation (OCIC) has been developing the expansive development of Norea City, which is part of a massive USD $2.5 billion project, over 125 hectares of land.

The conglomerate said of the megaproject “Our goal for the investment and development is to create a centre for international and national commercial hubs including luxury residential areas. The most iconic landmark of the city is the 555-meter skyscraper facing the Mekong River and Bassac River.”

These developments and the projects listed below have led to private land sale prices in Chbar Ampov reaching an estimated USD $2000 per metre, while rental prices have also been driven upwards.

Norea Cove

Norea Cove

OCIC is also involved in a joint venture with Singaporean developer Akram to build Norea Cove which offers luxury villas. As part of this project, in November 2023, OCIC announced that a new building would be built which would rank as the tallest building in Cambodia at over 500 meters high. OCIC Deputy General Director, Touch Samnang, confirmed the project but little is known.

OCIC is confident that partnering with multinational companies to attract investment in the city, will help make Phnom Penh and Cambodia more attractive in the region.

Catering To Koh Norea’s Residents

As part of the burgeoning life in the area to the southeast of the capital, more developments, new wealth and different types of residents mean the area needs to captivate its residents and new malls and activities have already opened up in Koh Norea.

Koh Nora Bridge

Koh Nora Bridge

This cable-stayed concrete bridge was completed in October 2023 following three years of construction, and connects Koh Pich to the Koh Norea peninsular across the Bassac River - It has further opened up prospects of developments and properties.

CBRE previously said after the bridge opened that the average land prices in the area were anticipated to substantially increase from $800 to $1,300 per square metre with the riverfront seen as the prime real estate.

The bridge is seen as a significant development in Phnom Penh as it has helped ease traffic congestion and is a crucial link between the eastern and western parts of the capital as well as connecting growing districts.

The Koh Nora bridge spans 824 meters with a width of 20.5 meters, and was estimated to have cost USD $35-38 million; it has become a popular landmark in the city already and is one of several bridges recently constructed or under development in the city.

Prek Pra Bridge

The Prek Pra Bridge was announced in August 2023 with an estimated budget of USD $60 million and got underway in Q1 2024 - it is not expected to be completed before the end of 2027.

The Phnom Penh bridge will span from Chak Angre (Meanchey district to the south of the city) and across the Bassac River to Prek Pra (which is located in Chbar Ampov district), and when completed, will be 845 meters long and divided into 4 traffic lanes.

Koh Norea Parkway

Koh Norea Parkway is another development from OCIC which opened in late 2023 and the developed public space offers 20 retail units along the river banks in Chbar Ampov as well as a riverside boardwalk that benefits the community and visitors.

The Koh Norea Parkway is inspired by nature and is intended to blend into the backdrop of the river - the launch of the retail outlets was planned to coincide with the official opening of the nearby USD $40 million bridge in 2023.

Other notable attractions in Koh Norea and the surrounding area, are:

  • The Park Community Mall - Offers dining options, cafes, shopping and other services.
    PH Euro Park -  Developed by Peng Huoth, it has become a sought-after destination for both locals and visitors.
  • Ground Market - The Ground Market opened in Koh Norea in 2023 and the retail development is located in front of CIA International School. The development team was praised for providing visitors with an exciting experience, environment and entertainment mixed with a suitable tenant selection.
  • KHMER Streat - This food & night weekend market was launched at the start of 2024 and offers Cambodian and international cuisine with entertainment also planned such as live music, cultural performances, and games. 

In conclusion, in addition to the planning and vast sums being spent on the infrastructure in the area, the diverse range of activities as well as the potential for a high-value real estate market, means Koh Norea and the surrounding area of Chbar Ampov district should be one new homeowners, investors and developer should keep an eye on.