Duong Van Beo is quite a unique figure in Phu My Hung, in that he not only chose this place as his second home but also persuaded more than 20 families of relatives to live here.
Beo is also a man with foresight. More than 10 years ago, he and eight other brothers and friends came to Ho Chi Minh City from Bac Lieu and paid US$3 million to buy 9 lots of land in a commercial area in Phu My Hung. They then built the 3-block, 7-storey Phu Ma Duong building, which went into operation three years later. The building has about 6,000 sqr.m. of offices for lease. All the offices were leased for a while before the economic slowdown. Now about 60 percent of the offices are filled. Each of the original investors now receives a monthly income of about US$100 million (roughly $5,000). That is a significant amount in the struggling economy. Beo said they recovered the invested money, and the building is now valued about $30 million.
The construction of Beo’s Phu Ma Duong building strictly obeyed the masterplan blueprint of Phu My Hung Development Company Ltd. (PMH Co.), as well as regulations of this urban area. But what is more important is that the building benefits from all good things that the Phu My Hung urban area can offer: the environment, the view, the security, the parking area, as well as other facilities. One who leases an office at Beo’s building can enjoy the same as another who leases an office at PMH Co.
Duong Van Beo waters his home garden.
He has not only invested in Phu Ma Duong building but also persuaded his relatives and friends to reside in Phu My Hung area. His “clan” now includes more than 30 families, who own more than 30 buildings of all kinds: villas, houses, apartment, besides the Phu Ma Duong building. They live in some, and lease the others.
Beo said proudly that “whatever product Phu My Hung can offer, we canb too” - be it a house or a commercial real estate for lease. “Our customers include 60 companies from more than 15 countries,” he said.
What is more interesting is that Duong Van Beo were able to persuade many of his friends, who left for the US to return and live in Phu My Hung. “Living condition can’t be better anywhere else than in Phu My Hung. My friends in the States at first did not believe me, but when they came back and really saw it, they invested their savings in my project. I send US$5,000 to each of them every month - we call it the money Viet Cong sends to Viet Kieu. They used to just fly back to Vietnam once in a while, but now they stay here permanently.
Beo is completely pleased with where he lives now, and says he would do the same if he had to start all over again. His business has been going quite smoothly and there are still potentials, but he doesn’t consider himself a successful businessman. His business only built on the success of Phu My Hung, which he’s determined to learn from, Beo said.
A bird eye view of Phu My Hung. Photo: Nguyen Huu Giang.
Beo feels attached to Phu My Hung in a way few other people do. There no street here he has not passed, no neighbourhood he has not visited, no building he has not entered, no new project he has not followed. No movement here has ever escaped his eyes and minds.
I don’t understand much about Beo, his background, his business or what he wants to achieve, but I’m surprised at how he could see through what is hidden behind all advertisement leaflets. He said it would be hard for any customer to select a home in Phu My Hung because there is no “bad” location. Houses are different but each has its own beauty or an interesting aspect. Beo said he think the investor in Phu My Hung had it planned properly right from masterplanning and designing. “They planned it so right, so that every product they made would please their customers. That’s why their houses sold like hot cakes.”
That is one of the things Beo have learnt from Phu My Hung. I myself think many developers and realtors should pay attention to that too.
For Beo, the first lesson he learnt is construction management when he had to put up VND300 million as deposit to Phu My Hung before breaking ground for his Phu Ma Duong building. Had Beo violated construction regulations - for example, dumbing sand and bricks in the wrong place - part the deposit would have been deducted as a fine.