Improvements to the Yangon Circular Railway are expected to speed things along, if only a little, starting in 2018, and developers are already looking to cash in on the upgrade, with plans to develop new properties looking to make a claim for the title of best hotel in Yangon, with the railway’s growth expected to foster growth in infrastructure in the city.
Yangon’s loop line, sitting at 46km in length, takes about three hours for a single lap, due to the trains on the line running at an average speed of 15KpH, due to old tracks and an ill-fit signaling system. Improvements are currently being made to the line with some assistance from Japan, aimed at fixing all these issues.
According to Yoma Strategic Holdings’ Cyrus Pun, Head of Real Estate business, the synergy between the railway and Yangon’s real estate will be key to its growth. Pun says that he is expecting a lot of the YCR improvements.
Another issue the YCR must face is the lack of funding due to the slow, initial conditions. Pun emphasized that investment in real estate near the YCR stations will be needed to deal with this financial hurdle.
Yoma is already working on developments near YCR stations, with construction on a new commercial complex near the Yangon Central Station. The development will host two key parts, Yoma Central, a pair of 24-storey mixed development office towers condos, a new serviced apartment and hotel complex.
Other companies are also looking to take advantage of the upgrades, with Japanese building company Taisei taking contracts in the area.
The other key development is a classy contender for the title of best hotel in Yangon, the Peninsula Yangon, a luxury hotel to be managed by Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels, to be housed in what was the Ministry of Rail Transportation Building, to be refurbished and preserved whilst hosting the new development.
Another key development is the redevelopment of the area around the Yangon Central Station, with Myanma Railways soliciting bids for the project, with the winners to be revealed soon.