What is missing in Phnom Penh’s CBD?

What is missing in Phnom Penh’s CBD?

Phnom Penh offers ample choices of restaurants, but when it comes to authentic restaurants with quality food in the Central Business District (CBD), very few meet the requirements of good ambience, tasteful décor, five-star service and good parking space. Those that do without being unreasonably expensive attract significant business.

In the daytime, the areas around Wat Phnom are the hub of Phnom Penh’s business activities, but at night there seems to be a general lack of choices for people staying and working around this area. “Developments targetting the younger generation are missing. There should be places where the new generations can live, play and create things and of course at an affordable prices,” according to Chhayleang Ngoun from Ratanaka Realty. Outside the main CBD area, Phnom Penh certainly has a lot to offer, particularly on the riverside, but access to the riverside area can sometimes be time-consuming with the traffic congestion.
The retail landscape in the CBD also remains under-developed and still has a long way to go in terms of international brands and retail formats on offer. The area certainly lack options for day time shopping beside the Central Market.

There is not a single option for night market shopping within the CBD or the surrounding area, and those markets close by tend to cater more to the local market. There remains an untapped opportunity for quality F&B retail and night time entertainment within the CBD. On the other hand, we can certainly see the potential in the CBD to develop a shopping hub for upscale visitors, as well as things which cater to the local market, foreigners and the younger crowd. 

Several significant projects are underway and the Vattanac Capital Lifestyle Park is a development to watch out for. Once the project is fully completed and together with the surrounding office buildings - the Canadia Tower, Exchange Square and the Vattanac Capital Tower -  the area could become the new F&B zone for a 2-kilometre catchment area which currently lacks quality F&B and bars. 

Further down the CBD, Boueng Keng Kang 1 is another area which is easily accessible and has significant development potential. However, the downside of Boeung Keng Kang 1 is the lack of parking spaces. Until now, there isn’t any hot spot that offers a choice of quality F&B outlets and ample parking under one roof.

The Phnom Penh F&B retail market still has room for further development and unfulfilled demand. I believe the CBD will remain an area with high spending power and developers should look to fill into segments where there is still a market gap.

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