Phnom Penh’s new residential development towers on “The Other Side” across the Japanese Bridge is Mekong Gardens, offering one-bedroom apartments for as little as $580 per month. Mekong Gardens is situated on the Mekong River side of the peninsula, but with equally stunning views of the Tonle Sap and the Phnom Penh skyline.
CBRE’s Mekong Gardens Property Manager Frederic Chan says the Canadia Bank group project, completed in April this year, was originally intended as condominiums, and while it has 30 to 35 owners, many on the upper floors, units are now also available as serviced apartments.
In an effort to beautify the property, an arched canopy gazebo covered in blooming vines has been built on the Mekong River side, adjacent to the swimming pool and above the floating boat dock.
The twin 17 storey tower buildings have a total of 146 units with about 90 now available, in one, two and three bedroom sizes. The two buildings are connected by a sky bridge on the 15th floor. Chan says there’s a housekeeping service for $30, $40 and $50 per month for 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units and daily laundry services, including ironing for $50 per month or $30 per month for three times a week. In addition to the one-bedroom units for $580 per month, there are fully furnished two-bedroom units available for $850 and three bedrooms for $1,050. The tenant has to pay electricity at the government rate, along with gas and water charges. The building has a central gas supply system and tenants can buy recharge cards, for both gas and electricity, at the front desk.
“The concept is to make it very attractive and easy for expat staff and even short term residents are welcome, almost like a hotel,” Chan said. Every apartment has a balcony, Hitachi refrigerator and LCD TVs hooked up to cable. “You can come without furniture, and that’s negotiable. We want people to come and talk to us. We are marketing to expats, NGOs, embassies, multinational companies or local big companies who can afford to hire expat staff. Those are our main targets.”
The premises also include free of charge for tenants a swimming pool with a bar and gym with running machines and bicycles. A mini mart is about to be opened downstairs and there’s a space for a restaurant which is looking now for somebody to fill. The swimming pool may be accessed at all times by tenants as long as they don’t make noise that disturbs the other residents, Chan said. “We are located 10 minutes away from the city centre in between two main rivers of Cambodia, the Mekong and the Tonle Sap. The location is ideal for people who want to enjoy the city and also the countryside of Cambodia. This gives you access to both city and country because it is only 10 minutes away from the centre.”
In addition to the Japanese Bridge, there’s a new Chinese-funded bridge across the Tonle Sap now under construction, which Chan says will make it even easier for residents to get into the city when it has been completed in an estimated two years’ time. A shuttle bus service is about to be launched, free for residents, departing each morning from Mekong Gardens to points in Phnom Penh including Canadia Tower and Diamond Island. The schedule is now being worked out. “The Mekong Gardens is a good place to live because we have everything you need. In the morning, you open your windows and you look directly on the Mekong or the Tonle Sap, which is very impressive. For internet, tenants can choose between several ISPs and wireless network for the whole place will shortly be installed, enabling guest to have prepaid or postpaid internet services.
While the penthouses have already been sold as condominiums, some higher floors, including 17, 15 and 13, are still available. “We understand expatriates and that’s the main point,” Chan said. “If they come here, we will be proactive in meetingtheir needs. The Mekong Gardens Serviced Apartments is a project developed by Canadia Bank Group in what is called the Preakleap area, Chrouy Changvar. Operations Manager Sereykerya Ros serves as the owner’s representative