A foundation laying ceremony for a large outdoor shopping complex by Inya Lake took place last month.
The complex, called Harmony Square, is part of a larger mixed use development called The Central, which is being built by developers Marga landmark.
The Chief Minister for Yangon Region, H.E. U Phyo Min, Thein, joined the ceremony, which involved the symbolic setting of a cornerstone and a brief tour of the site.
Marga Group Chairman, Dr. Stephen Suen and Group Director John Barnes also attended.
The Central aims to profit from crowded Yangon’s increasingly desperate need for public space. While critics will see the commodification of outdoor areas owned by large companies as a worrying sign, Marga insists The Central will be “generous and welcoming”.
“Designed to celebrate and create harmony, the Harmony Square will be a generous and welcoming communal space, an exemplar of urban design harmonized with the natural scenery of the beautiful Inya Lake,” the company said in a press release.
“The Central project recognizes the need for more functional public area in Yangon and it is committed to creating more functional spaces for the community,” it added.
Yangon is notoriously short of public space. Skateboarders and soccer enthusiast often resort to using the splices of concrete beneath public flyovers to enjoy their sports.
In a speech during last month’s ceremony, U Phyo Min Thein said: “Development in this area is part of Yangon city’s development. The development needs to bring opportunities to the public. The public needs to be able to have access to the place here, the shops and the buildings. And I’m informed that Marga has prepared for this kind of development.”
He added: “This is the first time that a group of foreign investors placed their investment in Myanmar. The result you see here today is because of the Marga’s good intention and cooperation. I hope Marga will bring its relevant organizations and foreign investors to Myanmar. The regional government is there to facilitate and support.”