Award-winning developer Urban Hub Cambodia Co Ltd – which is embarking on its third condo project in Phnom Penh – is bent on building quality, comfortable homes, and vowing to strengthen its reputation as a top-class builder. Founder and chairman of Urban Village Ben Li shares his company’s vision.
(Ben Li and Catherine Chan, Executive Directors of Urban Village)
1. At the 5th Annual PropertyGuru Cambodia Property Awards last month, Urban Hub won several awards. Tell us more about this achievement.
Urban Village has won the most awards at the Property-Guru Property Awards. We have won 13 awards in total over the course of two years. This year we won seven awards, and once again we won the country’s “Best Condo Development in Cambodia” and “Best Condo Development in Phnom Penh” awards. Other awards include “Best Breakthrough Developer”, “Best Co-Working Space”, “Best Office Development”, “Best Office Architectural Design” and “Best Lifestyle Developer”. We want to tell the world that Cambodia is an investment hotspot given the country’s open policies, the use of the US dollar as a functional currency and there being no restrictions on money transfers to other countries such as Singapore.
2. Urban Hub has previously won awards. What is driving the company to remain competitive?
Urban Village is more than just concrete buildings – what we are building here can’t be found anywhere else in Cambodia. Urban Village is adjacent to the Factory Phnom Penh, the biggest creative arts hub in Southeast Asia. Urban Village is not after profits, instead we have a mission to provide a community for the second generation of young Cambodians. We are focusing on building a community that puts the interests and experiences of the residents first. Every design in our project is to make sure our residents have the best international standard living experience, and I think that has made us stand out in the real estate industry in Cambodia.
3. Can you brief us about your ongoing project?
Urban Village Phase 2 is our third project in Cambodia. The first one is Urban Loft, which has been completed and handed over, with owners and tenants currently living there happily. Our second project is Urban Village Phase 1, which has been completed and is being handed over to owners. As a committed developer, we have delivered projects on time even during the Covid-19 period.
We are now moving on to our third project – Urban Village Phase 2. Piling is in progress at the moment, and more than 450 of the 540 piles have been put in place. The handover of Phase 2 is set to be in June 2023. We are focusing on the living of a new generation of Cambodians, with more than 70 per cent of our residents Cambodian.
4. How are your projects progressing, and how did you overcome the challenges of the Covid-19 outbreak?
We managed to hand over our units on time. We worked really hard to meet the completion schedule despite the troubles caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Our team at all levels quickly adapted to this new normal and that allowed us to stay on track with our plans.
5. As a developer, how has Urban Hub contributed to the local property market?
Urban Village is so different from other developments because all of our projects are managed by third party international consultants from Japan, Singapore and the UK.
Some other projects are not managed by independent consultants, which can lead to some building quality problems, for example with fire safety standards and water leaking. This is why third party independent consultants are so important.
*** This article is originally published on Phnom Penh Post.