If the building is completed, as planned, it will be the fifth tallest building in the world and the tallest in SE Asia

Just as Bangkok’s Mahanakhon building opens, Thailand’s tallest building at 314 metres (just 10 metres higher than the round-shaped Baiyoke Tower II in Ratchathewi), the Phnom Penh Post in Cambodia announces the start of construction of a 500 metre, 133 storey skyscraper. If it really ends up being 500 metres high it will become the world’s fifth tallest building. (Mahanakhon languishes at 52 on the list at the moment.) Construction is set to begin before the end of 2016.

Architect Tous Saphoeun, who is involved in the project sketches, confirmed that the plot for the building is suitable for projects that go up to 200 storeys and “all three steps of the testing phase” are done. Cambodia’s property market has had it’s ups and downs but Tous doesn’t see the fluctuations impeding the start of construction for the ambitious development. “Although the property market has seen some problems in sales, it does not pose a problem in beginning the construction.”

The developers, with links to Chinese investor Ng Lap Seng (who stands trial in the US next January for attempting to bribe John Ashe, former president of the UN General Assembly) say the building will be completed by 2019 although local agents are a bit more pessimistic putting the completion date a few more years down the track.

“Although the targeted completion date is within quite a short timeframe, realistically, a development of this scale is going to take significantly longer to complete,” says Ross Wheble, Knight Frank, Cambodia.

FazWaz thinks the design looks something between the Twin Towers in KL and the support beams for a circus tent.