Japan-based firms Raysum Co Ltd and Ikeya Corp have formed a joint venture named Kyaikkasan Land Development Pte with local company Mariana Investment to develop a commercial centre in Yangon, according to the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry.
The commercial complex, which includes a supermarket and retail spaces on Kyaikkasan road, will be designed by the Japanese firms that won the contract to design the Olympic village for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Mitsubishi Co will manage the construction, according to a government statement.
The time when the project will start has not been announced, but the ministry said the project aims to shape the complex into a green landmark which will also include athletic facilities.
However, observers including civil engineers and conservationists are opposing the project because of the lack of transparency and their disapproval of the government’s decision to transform the area that dates back to the colonial era into a commercial centre.
Lower House lawmakers discussed in a regular meeting last month the issue of shrinking green areas in Yangon as well as the issue of transforming more and more historic sites into commercial places.
Lower House MP U Thein Nyunt said that with the ramping up of housing projects to cater to the demand of the rising population, heritage and cultural features of the city are bearing the brunt of the impact.
Preparations are underway to implement a land use and zoning plan in Yangon, including limitations on the height of buildings, while illegal construction that lacks official approval or does not meet minimum quality standards is also being dealt with, U Aung Thein, deputy minister with the Presidential Office told the Lower House session.