HCMC Dining Guide

Friday, November 18, 2011

The East also Rises

Much of the focus on Saigon's vertical growth is directed towards the area in the middle of the above picture: the core of District 1. Those three buildings dead center will anchor the skyline for at least the next 2-3 years. I've already used this page to discuss the rising suburbs in District 7, south of the city; and District 2, across the river. However, there are also some major developments in Binh Thanh District, directly to the east of District 1. Binh Thanh is one of the city's most populous areas, and it is densely packed with low-slung housing. Rising above the hectic streets are three high-profile, expensive apartment and condo projects.

First, we have the massive Saigon Pearl, right on the river. The area in front of the towers is home to an international school and a neighborhood of upscale houses, but the main attractions are obviously the monolithic towers. There's a Land Rover dealership in the base of the left-most tower, which indicates the sort of clientele the Pearl is catering towards. That same tower was only completed within the last six months.
as seen from the Thu Thiem bridge

Just down the street from the Saigon Pearl is The Manor, with its distinctive blue roof. From what I can tell, most of the residents here are affluent expatriates.

Finally, we come to the City Garden, which will consist of six towers when the project is completed in the next year or so. The drastic differences between these towers and the area they are in is striking: just down the street is a canal lined with sheet-metal shacks and garbage; and the narrow roads of the neighborhood are hives of typical Vietnamese activity. I imagine walking into this complex from the street when it opens will be like walking into a whole other world.

taken from Van Thanh park
There's been talk recently about a glut of luxury apartments in Saigon; apparently real estate companies have had to significantly cut prices in order to get customers. This doesn't seem to be stopping developers from throwing up new towers all over the place, though, so it will be interesting to see where this relationship between supply and demand goes in the next few years.

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