City apartment project makes no-shows

The first mini apartment project in Ho Chi Minh City has delayed returning money to the customers as it failed to finish the apartments on time.

An apartment block in HCMC’s Binh Thanh District (Photo:Minh Tri)

Representatives from Vina Complex, Ltd. and Hoang Anh Saigon Real Estate Company, which invested in the Vinacomplex III building on Cong Hoa Street, Tan Binh District, had promised to return the money on June 15 but the customers were then told that the company had not collected enough money yet.

The customers were told to come back on June 24, when they were told again to come on a different day. They were not met with by any senior officials from the two companies.

Introduced to the public in February this year, the project was expected to finish in June with 19 apartments. The investors have asked interested customers to put in 30 percent of an apartment value in advance. So far, it has taken money for 11 apartments, or around VND6 billion (US$290,600).

Yet there’s nothing but ground at the building site by the end of May, when the customers were promised to receive complete apartments.
 
A representative from Vinacomplex, said the project cannot be carried out yet as the investors are asking permits to raise the height of the building, which would take long.

The customers have been worried and suspected that the project was a scam.

The land title was owned by a city resident named Tran Thi Hong Loan, who on December 2010 transferred the project to the two companies after she got a construction permit from Tan Binh District People’s Committee for a project of detached houses.

But recently, Loan’s son Le Xuan Thang has told the public that the transfer contract was destroyed several days after that as his mother did not want to invest in apartments.

Vina Complex director Duong Manh Hung and his counterpart at Hoang Anh Saigon, Doan Chi Thanh, both said that they have not mobilized enough money to return to the customers.

By L.Thien – Translated by Thuy Minh

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