Officials in the central province of Khanh Hoa on Tuesday decided to significantly scale down their plans for a controversial property project along the famous beach of Nha Trang amid strong public opposition.
They will limit the Phoenix Beach project to an area of 14 hectares, or around 35 acres, from the original 71 hectares set to be allocated for Indian developer Dewan International.
Dewan will continue to build an apartment building and a hotel of up to 65 stories, but plans for a boardwalk and an entertainment complex have been scrapped.
The Indian company had said on the project’s website that it was “rebuilding Nha Trang.” The construction was originally supposed to stretch over 4.3 kilometers of one the most popular beaches in the country, with a cost estimate of $2.63 billion.
Dewan is also the developer behind various property projects in the province.
The Phoenix Beach project has received opposition from residents, architects and former officials, who said the province is privatizing the beach and offering it exclusively to those with money.
It became even more infamous after the province chairman Nguyen Chien Thang at a meeting last week called the critics “shortsighted” for not sharing his vision of turning Nha Trang into a “special urban area” like Singapore, Hong Kong or Hawaii.
But officials met with their predecessors on Tuesday and decided to back down.
Pham Van Chi, former deputy Party chief and former chairman of the province, said after the meeting that the province will not allow property developments that may affect the public beach access.
New constructions have to really serve the public, Chi said, cited by Tuoi Tre.