Sovanna Shopping Center, whose investor is Pung Kheav Se, chairman and director at real estate developer Overseas Cambodian Investment Corporation, is scheduled for renovations to attract more customers.
The second most popular shopping mall in Phnom Penh when it opened 11 years ago, it has seen a decline in customers in recent years.
Sovanna Shopping Center CEO Chea Sokheak told The Post on Monday that renovation plans will begin in September.
“The shopping centre’s renovations will attract more customers than before. The truth is there is very heavy competition now in the shopping industry. It presents an opportunity to renovate this centre to make it more attractive,” she said.
Sokheak did not disclose how much money would be spent on building renovations. She said engineers are currently sizing up the project.
All shop owners will be forced to terminate their rental contracts by the end of August, amid rumours that the mall is currently being rented to a Chinese investor.
A shop manager at the shopping centre, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Post on Monday that the centre’s owner last month informed him that he must terminate his contract before the expiration date.
“The company has requested us to terminate our contracts before [the expiration] date in order to vacate the property for renovations, but some shop owners here said that the mall has been rented to the Chinese,” he said.
Another shop owner who sells electronic appliances alleged under the request of anonymity that the CEO of Sovanna Shopping Center said it would only close temporarily.
“We have been told to temporarily close our shops for at least six months,” he said.
However, Sokheak refuted the rumours, saying that the mall is still run by the same owner.
“We are working to terminate all contracts with shopkeepers. We refute the rumours – the truth is that we want to renovate [Sovanna Shopping Center]. Our shopping mall is 11 years old now – it’s time to renovate,” she said.
The five-storey Sovanna Shopping Center, which opened in 2008, has around 200 shops, according to Sokheak.