A multimillion-dollar high-rise apartment complex has been discovered to be under construction without legitimate permits despite reprimands from authorities in Hanoi.
The HH-01 housing project in the Dai Mo urban zone, developed by Alaska Real Estate Co., has so far had 18 floors constructed, though local authorities had ordered that construction be halted, pending building permits.
Located in Nam Tu Liem District on a construction site spanning nearly eight hectares, the structure comprises terraced houses, villas and apartments developed at a cost of VND3.5 trillion (US$ 150.8 million).
Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper has found in an investigation that the project had been approved by the Tu Liem People’s Committee in July 2011.
In August 2013, Hanoi-based FLC Group signed a contract to buy 99 percent of Alaska Co.’s stakes and changed the project name to FLC Garden City.
After splitting from Tu Liem District, the Nam Tu Liem District People’s Committee approved the project’s preliminary architectural revisions in October 2015.
As legally stipulated then, the row houses and villas were exempted from a construction license, though a building permit was supposed to be sought for the high-rise apartment block.
On May 7, 2015, progress on the project was first noticed by the district’s construction inspectors, who then ordered its cessation for failure to acquire the proper permits.
Nearly one week later, the local administration slapped a fine of VND40 million ($1,724) on the developer, and demanded that it seek a permit within 60 days or risk having the illegal construction dismantled.
In February 2016, the People’s Committee of Dai Mo Ward, where the structure is located, requested the developer sign a commitment to halt construction.
The measures were ineffective and construction continued stealthily. Repeated calls from local authorities for the developer to cease construction went ignored on several more occasions until December 2016, resulting in the illegal construction of the building’s 16th floor.
In January 2017, local authorities decided to seize the developer’s means for obstinately circumventing the cessation order.
Inspectors from the Hanoi Department of Construction launched a thorough inspection on the high-rise building in February 2017, confirming that all operations on the site have ceased, though the building has had the columns and walls of the 18th floor built so far without legitimate approval.
According to Chu Van Duc, head of the district’s construction inspectorate, competent agencies have sealed off the site and the investor’s equipment to prevent them from discreetly proceeding with the construction.
Duc added the district has reported the case to the municipal Party Committee.
Nguyen Trong Luong, deputy chairman of the Nam Tu Liem People’s Committee, revealed police had also stepped in.
Speaking to Tuoi Tre, Nguyen Ngoc Tuan, head of the Ministry of Construction’s inspectorate, said they had grasped the case reported by the Hanoi Department of Construction, which is working with the violator.
“We will take over the case if the municipal agencies fail to handle the violations,” he stressed.