Myanma Railways has selected a consortium led by Singapore-based Oxley Holdings to carry out a $2.5 billion redevelopment of the Yangon Central Railway Station. The project is expected to turn the station and the surrounding 63 acres of undeveloped land into a futuristic transportation hub surrounded by commercial amenities and housing.
The consortium also includes Myanmar-based Min Dhama — a subsidiary of Mottama Holdings — and China-based Great Wall. Together, the three companies are Burma’s “preferred bidder” for the contract, which will not be officially awarded until other negotiations and legal arrangements are completed, according to an announcement released on Wednesday by Oxley.
According to a letter released on Wednesday by Myanma Railways’ managing director, Tun Aung Thin, the selection of the Oxley consortium was made during a 30 January cabinet meeting. The letter said the consortium would be informed of the dates of upcoming negotiations “shortly.”
An artist’s impression of the finished project shows over a dozen high-rise buildings surrounding a circular railway station, which will ostensibly be built beside the existing railway station building.
Around 10,000 railway workers and their families live in the undeveloped land surrounding the station. They are expected to be relocated to Tamwe and East Dagon townships, a Myanma Railways official told Frontier Myanmar magazine.
Plans for the redevelopment of the area around the train station were announced in 2014, but the tender failed to attract enough formal proposals and was cancelled. It was then rereleased in 2015, and the Oxley consortium was one of two bidders whose proposals were accepted. The other was from a consortium of companies connected to Burmese tycoon Serge Pun, including Yoma Strategic Holdings and First Myanmar Investment.
Several other companies declined to pursue the project because of its immense scale. It is thought to be one of Burma’s largest-ever property development projects.
Prior to the selection of the winning company, Yangon residents and the Yangon Heritage Trust advocated for the development of the land around the station to provide social benefits to residents. Its 2016 Yangon Heritage Strategy recommended that the land be converted into public green space and avoid high-rise towers that would block views of Shwedagon Pagoda and other historic buildings.
This story was originally published by Coconuts Yangon here.