Ho Chi Minh City

Construction of underground parking lots still sluggish

Since Ho Chi Minh City authorities have strongly committed to keeping sidewalk order; changes have seen. However, because of shortage of underground parking lot, vehicles still park in sidewalks causing traffic jam meanwhile parking lot projects, especially underground ones, are being run slowly.

Cars queue in Le Van Tam Park due to shortage of underground parking lots (Photo: SGGP)

Cars queue in Le Van Tam Park due to shortage of underground parking lots (Photo: SGGP)

Underground car park development projects in downtown HCMC came out many years ago but none of them has translated into reality. Four underground parking lots have been planned for the central business district, with one at Trong Dong outdoor stage area, one at Le Van Tam Park, one at September 23 Park near Ben Thanh Market, and one at Hoa Lu stadium.
Underground parking lot at Trong Dong outdoor stage area was approved and carried out in 2010. However, eight years flied away, its investors - Hanoi-based Dong Duong Company Limited reported the project is feasible. It has not had plan for compensation, resettlement as well as has not completed techniques design document and construction license.
Dong Duong Company proposed two options in the design of the car park at Trong Dong outdoor stage area. According to the first option, the parking lot would have ten underground levels, of which, three for parking and seven left above ground for commercial and services purposes. The second option is that seven floors will be for keeping vehicles as per the old design, but the investor will build one more floor for commercial and services purposes.
Both options are not approved by the city authority for people’s safety.
For the underground parking lot in Le Van Tam park, the municipal People’s Committee has signed build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract and issued certificate of investment to the Investment and Development for Underground Space Corporation (IUS) in 2009.
In March, 2017, the Department of Transport and relevant agencies have completed all essential paper work and the investors promised to start the work in the end of 2017.
Nevertheless, IUS has not finished technique design, ways to remove trees and construction license. Before, IUS used to call for investment cooperation with its partners to build the Le Van Tam Park into a commercial buildings yet the park is just for underground parking lot.
Then, IUS made excuse to extend the project. Le Tuan, general director of IUS, said cost of underground parking garage is three or four higher than ground parking kind; subsequently, payback period is averagely 50 years or more while the parking fee price is set by the government.
HCMC authorities advocate social contribution for building underground parking garages. As per experts, investors must assume responsibilities for sluggish projects because they have advantages in clearing site for the projects in Le Van Tam Park and Tao Dan Park.
There has been a rumor that investors’ weak financial ability can’t carry out the projects; therefore, they made excuse to extend the time to run the projects. The Department of Transport said if investors are not quick to carry out the projects, it will propose the People’s Committee to end the projects with the old investors and call for other new investors.
To solve the parking fee, the city allowed investors to decide payment level equal to that in commercial buildings in district 1.
Transport experts said that the authorities should be more determined in running underground parking garages. For licensed projects run by inability investors, the government will do it while BOT projects will be transferred to the PPP (public-private partnership) scheme.
Additionally, underground parking garages must be connected with economic condition and security and smart parking lots.
To beef up construction pace of these parking garages, the city authorities must solve parking fees and eliminate contracts with inability investors.
According to the Department of Transport, from the People’s Committee headquarter within the area of 500 meter, 60 high-rise buildings with one to five basements for parking each in the total areas of 265,000 meter square are expected to meet demand of these buildings as well as 1,300 automobiles and 2,700 motorbikes from other places.

By QUOC HUNG – Translated by UYEN PHUONG

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