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Japanese Consortium to Build Shopping Center Underneath Ben Thanh Market

Besides alleviating the city’s traffic problems, it seems that Saigon’s future metro system will also serve a commercial purpose, as local officials just put forth a proposal to bring in a consortium of Japanese investors to establish a shopping area within the metro’s Ben Thanh station.

According to the plan of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, the underground plaza will feature shops along the station’s length, facing a spacious walkway in the middle. The cost to construct the commercial center will be covered by official development assistance (ODA) loans from Japan, reports Tuoi Tre. The investment will be repaid gradually through taxes from the center’s business activities.

The joint-venture comprises a slew of Japanese firms, including Toshin Development Co. Ltd, JOIN, Nikken Sekkei Civil Engineering Ltd and Osaka Chikagai Co., Ltd. Toshin Group will be the project’s main developer.

The idea for the commercial center was submitted by Toshin last March. According to the plan, the construction process for the the 60-meter wide, 700-meter long subterranean boulevard will start in 2019 and end in 2024, costing VND6.865 trillion (US$308 million), Vietnam News reports.

According to Thanh Nien, the underground trade center will be located in the B1 basement of Ben Thanh Central Station, the main hub of the Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien metro line. The hub will span an area of approximately 45,000 square meters.

The shopping zone will cover 40% of this area, stretching from 23/9 Park to the Municipal Theater and Nguyen Hue walking street at a depth of three meters below Le Loi Street.

Shoppers will be able to access the plaza through entrances at Ben Thanh Market and various other above-ground stores and office buildings, according to Tuoi Tre’s interview with Bui Xuan Cuong, head of the management board that oversees urban railways in Ho Chi Minh City.

[Rendering via Zing]

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