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City eviction notice triggers vendor backlash

Update: August, 22/2014 - 10:06

Sai Gon Tax Trade Centre in downtown HCM City.— Photo nld.com.vn

HCM CITY (VNS) — Shopkeepers at the Sai Gon Tax Trade Centre in downtown HCM City are complaining bitterly about being given little notice to move out before October 1 to facilitate construction of the first metro line.

Doan Van Phung, who has three shops on the third floor, said: "The leasing contract signed with Satra will expire at the end of 2014."

"However, two weeks ago Satra made an announcement that we must return the shops before October 1."

Le Chi Thanh, another shopkeeper at the mall, said his family has been doing business at the centre for decades. "But it is very difficult for us to sell all our goods in a very short period before leaving."

Many of the 230 shops have yet to find alternative locations.

Some said they would move to other malls like Lucky Plaza and Saigon Square, while others plan to do business in their own premises.

Many vendors are now offering discounts of 10-70 per cent to quickly clear stocks.

Shopkeepers at 39 Le Loi Boulevard next to the mall have been told to leave before September 15 to make way for construction of the ventilation system for Metro Line No 1.

Tran Thuy Lien, director of Sai Gon Tax Trade Centre, said the centre would be closed down on October 1 and the premises transferred to the HCM City Urban Railway Management Authority.

"We will do our best to help the shopkeepers by launching a one-month promotion and waiving two months' rent."

They can move to Satramart on 3 Thang Hai Street or Mall C6 trade centre on Pham Hung Street, she said.

City authorities have approved a plan by the Sai Gon Trading Group (Satra), the owner of the Sai Gon Tax Trade Centre, to construct a new building at the site later.

Shop keepers from the old premises would get priority in leasing space there, she promised. — VNS

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