Ho Chi Minh City is undergoing a construction boom, which is especially apparent when you walk around District 1. This post is a list of projects that have been proposed or under construction. Buildings that have been listed here and have since been completed can be found at the bottom of the page.
Here a look at the major construction projects that at planned or under construction in Ho Chi Minh City.
Current Projects Under Construction
Spirit Of Saigon
Location: Tran Hung Dao, District 1.
The Spirit Of Saigon (previously known as The One Ho Chi Minh City) will be two towers connected by a podium. The 55 and 48-storey towers will contain a mix of office space, residential apartments, and a hotel. Originally the Ritz Carlton was going to be the hotel, but they have since pulled out. The towers represent two dragons with pearls in the mouths (a nod to Saigon when it was the ‘Pearl of the Orient’).
The site is opposite the future Ben Thanh Central metro interchange, so it is set to become a sought-after address.
[Ben Thanh Central Station and Spirit of Saigon construction area.]
After years of delays, the basement levels were finished by mid-2017 and then the project stopped. By the end of 2019, the project restarted.
Read more about the Spirit of Saigon.
Ben Thanh Market Station and Le Loi Underground Plaza
Location: Ben Thanh Market, District 1, HCMC.
I’ve left the metro construction out of this list as it will be in the transport section, but the Ben Thanh Market and Le Loi construction require its own section here. The Ben Thanh central station will eventually be a junction of three metro lines and it will feature an underground plaza. The traffic circle that was in front of the market has since been dug up, and it will be replaced by a pedestrian area. This is expected to be finished in 2020/2021.
Between Ben Thanh and the Opera House, Le Loi Street will have an underground walkway/shopping area that will be above the Line 1 metro. Not much information has been released about this, so we wait for further updates on what it might look like.
For an update on the metro, read the Ho Chi Minh City Metro 2020 construction update.
Next to Eco Smart City (separated by the park above the Thu Thiem tunnel) is Empire City. Its location is easy to spot from the District 1 side of the river as it has a showroom building near the waterfront. This parcel of land will be developed in sections by four different companies.
Construction was first announced in 2015, then in 2017 there was a major design change with a new tower by Büro Ole Scheeren.
Like many of the projects in Saigon, finding accurate up-to-date information is hard going. The original tower was going to be 462 metres with 88 floors, making it almost the same size as Landmark 81. The new tower is now reported at 333 metres, though it’s still being reported as having 88 floors. That doesn’t add up, so I will be on the lookout for updated details.
[Empire City – March 2018.]
Full detail of the project can be found here: Empire City – The future landmark development of Ho Chi Minh City.
[Image via ata.vn.]
Location: 5 Me Linh Square, District 1, HCMC.
The Hilton makes its way to Saigon, filling in the last spot on Me Linh Square (and replacing what was one of the oldest buildings in the city.)
[Saigon Hilton construction – April 2018.]
Photo essay of the basement construction.
Vinhomes Golden River
Vinhomes Golden River occupies a prime waterfront location in District 1. This development features several apartment towers and villas, and is the site of one of the metro stops on the future Line 1.
So far five towers and surrounding villas have been completed.
This project came at a great cost to the city’s heritage. The site is on the former Ba Son Shipyard, which had a large collection of historic warehouses and shipbuilding equipment. Other cities around the world have transformed their old dockland warehouses into markets, restaurants, and office space. One of the remaining warehouses has been preserved and will be a museum. There will also be a park and riverfront walkway.
Originally the whole project was by Vinhomes. Since then Alpha King took over about half of the site, and now another developer is preparing another section. There will also be an office tower and a mall with residential towers. There is no official announcement on what the rest of the site will look like, so I will update this when it is known.
Hyatt Place Hyatt House Tower
Location: Eco Green Saigon, District 7, HCMC.
Status: Due to start 2020.
The Hyatt Place Hyatt House Tower is the signature tower of the Eco Green Saigon project in District 7. The tower will be 275 metres with 69 floors, making it the second-tallest building in Ho Chi Minh City (of current buildings).
“The Tower contains a conference centre and commercial offices to the lower floors. The upper levels are dedicated to the new Hyatt House + Hyatt Place dual destination of long-stay apartment living and short-stay premium hotel offerings. These two accommodation options share a spectacular sky lobby and access to a unique revolving restaurant and public sky deck viewing lounge at the pinnacle of the project.”
Location: 11D Thi Sach, District 1, HCMC
[Corner of Nguyen Sieu and Thi Sach.]
After being abandoned for many years this site recommenced as Saigon Luxury in November 2018.
[Image via batdongsanhungthinh.com.vn.]
Location: 230 Nguyen Trai, District 1, HCMC.
The Lancaster Legacy will be an apartment complex with a shopping mall in the podium. The site on Nguyen Trai used to be a shopping centre and cinema, opposite the land that forms part of the Nguyen Cu Trinh Centre. Work began in 2020.
Lancaster Residences D4
[Image via diaoconline.vn.]
Location: 78 Ton That Thuyet, District 4, HCMC.
Phuong Long 2 Office Building
[Image via Toan Thinh Phat.]
Location: 16 Nguyen Truong To, District 4, HCMC.
Diamond Lotus Riverside
Location: Le Quang Kim, District 8, HCMC.
This riverside apartment development looks like a boxier version of the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Once it is finished it could be a catalyst for transforming District 8.
Future projects that have been proposed but not started yet (and maybe never will).
Eco Smart City
Location: Thu Thiem New Urban Area, District 2, HCMC.
South Korean conglomerate Lotte won the right to develop prime riverfront land in the Thu Thiem New Urban Area in District 2.
The project will include office, retail, and residential areas. The package includes developing roads and associated infrastructure that goes with building a city from scratch. What is being built here is still light on details, and my eyes are rolling to the back of my head as I type “eco smart city”. As with the Ecological Urban Area in Thanh Da, all building projects should already be smart and ecological. Having said that I am looking forward to seeing what designs the Lotte group brings to this project.
District 4 Riverfront Redevelopment
Location: Saigon River, District 4, HCMC.
A massive redevelopment along the entire riverfront of District 4 would turn the old docks into a mixed-use new city. Details are a little sketchy on this one as the original sources have since been taken down. What is known is that something big is happening along here, as whole blocks have been cleared of tenants in preparation for future development. The current ports will move Hiep Phuoc Port when their leases expire.
Part of this redevelopment will include the Thu Thiem 3 Bridge, which will connect District 4 to Thu Thiem in District 2.
Another version of this project has been released by Vinhomes (an uglier version IMHO) but there are few details on this.
Nguyen Cu Trinh Centre
Location: Nguyen Cu Trinh, District 1.
The Nguyen Cu Trinh Centre has been dubbed Golden Land and will include retail and office buildings, residential, and the new Saigon Hospital. The area is west of Pham Ngu Lau, inside Nguyen Trai/Cong Quynh/Nguyen Cu Trinh/Tran Dinh Xu.
The current area is a high-density residential area, with a deadline of the end of 2018 for clearance and demolition.
Ecological Urban Area Binh Quoi – Thanh Da
Location: Thanh Da, Binh Thanh District.
The Ecological Urban Area is set in an island of land surrounded by a dramatic meander of the Saigon River. Thanh Da is currently low rise housing, and parts of it feel like you’re in the Mekong Delta. I’m sceptical of anything that is branded “ecological” (all new buildings should be striving to be ecological) and the land looks prone to flooding, so it would be a big project to turn it into a new city.
Another concern is that there is no metro station included in the current metro masterplan, which any new city of this size should include.
[Thanh Da as viewed upon approach to Tan Son Nhat International Airport.]
District 5 Cultural Center
[Image via ardorarch.com.]
Location: 105 Tran Hung Dao, District 5, HCMC.
With so many malls and apartments planned, it’s good to see a public cultural space has been proposed. The District 5 Cultural Center was announced in 2015, and it still remains as just a plan.
[Image via img.vn.]
Location: 448 Nguyen Tat Thanh, District 4, HCMC.
Opposite the proposed District 4 waterfront redevelopment is this remarkable twin tower. No timeline has been set for this, though some of the properties that are currently on this address have been boarded up.
Charminton District 1
[Image via reic.vn.]
Location: 23 Ly Tu Trong, District 1, HCMC.
[23 Ly Tu Trong – March, 2018.]
[Image via ihgplc.com.]
Location: Ly Tu Trong, District 1, HCMC.
Kimdo Hotel Complex
[Image via swavietnam.com.]
Location: Nguyen Hue, District 1, HCMC.
New hotel development on Nguyen Hue.
Saigon Dragon Tower
[Image via reic.vn.]
Location: 7-9 Ton Duc Thang, District 1, HCMC.
Status: Not known.
Projects that were first listed here and have since been completed.
[Image via vibim.com.vn.]
This tower has a self-descriptive name as it has already become a landmark of the city, and it has 81 floors. The Landmark 81 is the tallest tower in Vietnam, and it was briefly the tallest building in Southeast Asia.
For such a big project it went up surprisingly fast. The building topped out at 461.2 metres 46 days ahead of schedule.
The tower design is inspired by a bundle of bamboo, with sections tapering off to leave one final bamboo stick at the top. It’s a beautiful design that will rank proudly among the best skyscrapers in the world. It will include a hotel, apartments, and shopping.
Vinhomes Central Park
Vinhomes Central Park went up just as fast as Landmark 81. Technically the Landmark 81 tower is part of Vinhomes Central Park, though it stands out as a project in itself so I placed it separately.
It’s an odd design, to say the least. This high-density cluster of apartments looks more like a housing commission project in Hong Kong. The apartments are facing each other rather than making the most of a river view. I’m not sure why the apartments are clustered around what should be the jewel of the city (the Landmark 81), blocking the view from District 1.
[Vinhomes Central Park construction – 2017.]
On the plus side, the new park that goes with it is wonderful. Aside from naming it after an already famous park (why not give it a Vietnamese name), it’s a rare event to see a new urban park open in a big city. The park is already proving to be popular, so I hope it sets a precedent for more open space planning.
Location: 31 Le Duan, District 1, HCMC.
The Friendship Tower occupies the block of the former Vietnam-France Friendship Association. The property is between Deutsches Haus and Saigon Tower. Work began at the start of 2018 and was completed in 2020.
Location: 15 Le Thanh Ton, District 1, HCMC.
After being abandoned for a few years this 25-storey office tower restarted in 2019. It was rebranded as Sonatus and opened for tenants in 2020.
Viettel Trade Center
[Image via diaoconline.vn.]
Location: 285 CMT 8, District 10, HCMC.
The Viettel Trade Center features two towers near the busy Dan Chu roundabout, which will eventually have a station on the Line 2 metro.
LIM Tower III
[Image via coreasiapm.com.]
Location: 29A Nguyen Dinh Chieu, District 1, HCMC.
[LIM Tower III – March 2018.]
Five Star Tower
[Image via fivestarecocity.vn.]
Location: 28 Bis Mac Dinh Chi, District 1, HCMC.
[Five Star Tower construction – March 2018.]
Location: 131 Dien Bien Phu, Binh Thanh, HCMC.
The V Tower (or V-Ikon) got as far as completing the concrete shell, and then there was a shortage of funding which left it unfinished for years.
[V Tower on Dien Bien Phu.]
Location: 141-143-145 Dien Bien Phu, Binh Thanh, HCMC.
Next to the V Tower is the DB Tower, which also restarted construction after years of being stalled.
[V Tower and DB Tower.]