YANGON – Yoma Strategic Holdings has broken ground on a multi-million dollar mixed-use development project in the heart of Yangon’s downtown.
The project will be officially called Yoma Central and include office towers, serviced apartments, retail space and two hotels, including a high-end Peninsula branded hotel, which will be located inside the old Burma Railways headquarters, one of Yangon’s most distinctive buildings.
“This groundbreaking ceremony is the start of an exciting journey for the country,” said Mr Serge Pun, executive chairman of Yoma Strategic and First Myanmar Investment. “We are very excited to play a role in the transformation of Yangon into a truly international city that will continue to serve as the gateway to the rest of Myanmar.”
The project will cost about US$700 million and will see the largest investment in a real estate project in Myanmar, he added.
First unveiled as a “landmark” project in December 2012, the development has faced numerous delays in reaching this point, something Pun acknowledge in his speech, saying the project was “complicated”.
Yangon Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein also attended the groundbreaking ceremony, saying that restoration of the old railway building would be a boost to Yangon’s reputation as an international tourism destination.
“I hope residents in Myanmar will be happy with the results of the existing landmark hotel near Bogyoke Market,” he said.
Yoma Strategic will hold a 48 percent stake in the mixed-use development, followed by Mitsubishi Corporation with 30 percent, FMI (12 percent), International Finance Corporation (5 percent) and Asian Development Bank (5 percent). Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels will control 70 percent of the Peninsula Yangon hotel component, with the rest owned by Yoma Strategic with 24 percent and FMI with 6 percent.