Myanmar’s growing corporate community gained a new home on Friday when Junction City Tower, a $118.5 million office project invested by Singapore’s Keppel Land opened its doors for tenants in Yangon.
The 23-storey grade-A office project is a joint venture between Singapore-based Keppel Land and Myanmar conglomerate Shwe Taung, with Keppel having agreed in 2014 to pay $47.4 million for a 40 percent stake in the development.
“The partnership with Shwe Taung Group for Junction City Tower is in line with Keppel Land’s strategy to invest in markets with good growth potential such as Myanmar, and to further augment the company’s commercial portfolio,” Ang Wee Gee, Keppel Land chief executive, said in a statement. Ang’s company has been active in Myanmar since 1993, according to the company’s website.
Partners Planning More Projects in Yangon
The 33,400 square metre office tower has already confirmed agreements with international tenants including Korea’s Samsung, the British Chamber of Commerce, and Singaporean law firm Allen & Gledhill, according to a statement. The offices will form part of the Junction City mixed-use development which will also include a five-star Pan Pacific Hotel, a shopping centre and residential towers.
Construction on phase two of the Junction City project is expected to begin in 2018, with Keppel Land and Shwe Taung having already signed conditional joint venture agreement to cooperate on that project. Keppel Land plans to invest $48.6 million for a 40 percent stake in the 50,000 square metre development, which will include a 260-unit Sedona Suites serviced residence and more office space.
When the project is finished, Yangon’s Junction City project, located at the intersection of Shwedagon Pagoda Road and Bogyoke Aung San Road, will be around 260,000 square metres.
Keppel Land Myanmar Strategy Parallels Early Saigon Days
Keppel Land’s investment in Myanmar in some ways parallels its moves in Vietnam 20 years ago where its Saigon Centre project pioneered grade A office development in what was then a southeast Asian frontier city.
Vietnam has since become a major profit centre for the Singaporean conglomerate, which earlier this month invested another $38.3 million to take an additional 16 stake in the Saigon Centre, giving it control of the project which broke ground in 1996.
According to figures from Keppel Land, the company’s land bank now includes 24,565 units worth of projects in Vietnam, almost all of which are found in Ho Chi Minh City, with another 7,378 residential units in the pipeline in Indonesia.