Investors Sought for Major Facelift of Kyimyindaing Rail Station

By Kyaw Hsu Mon & Nobel Zaw 5 June 2015

RANGOON — The Ministry of Rail Transportation has called for investment in a major upgrade of Rangoon’s Kyimyindaing Railway Station and development of its surrounding compound, with plans for multi-story commercial and office complexes, hotels and serviced apartments.

The project, reported in state media on Friday, will be implemented on the Kyimyindaing Railway Station compound, an area of about 2.6 hectares (6.5 acres). The announcement called on interested developers to submit an Expression of Interest to the ministry no later than Aug. 5.

Thet Lwin, the general manager of the Ministry of Rail Transportation, told The Irrawaddy that the state-owned land was vacant and suitable for the development.

“We chose an area that wouldn’t affect rail transportation, wouldn’t affect other future [development] plans, to upgrade and revitalize the buildings and markets [nearby],” said Thet Lwin.

The Kyimyindaing Railway Station was built during the British colonial era and is listed by the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) as a heritage building. Thet Lwin said its listing meant developers would not be allowed to demolish the building and would have to undertake conservation works on the structure.

The Ministry of Rail Transportation is calling for local and foreign investors, as well as joint venture partnerships, to submit plans to design, build and operate the envisioned facilities.

Investment is similarly being sought, through late July, for the Pazungdaung Railway Station, also in the commercial capital. The ministry has already awarded a tender for a massive US$350 million hotel, retail and residential zone at the site of the former Ministry of Railways building in downtown Rangoon.

Moe Moe Lwin, director of the Yangon Heritage Trust (YHT), told The Irrawaddy that the Kyimyindaing project’s implementers should carry out surveys to gauge the economic and social impact of the planned redevelopment.

“Don’t think only about the [heritage] building and think about its surroundings and [ensure] future buildings are compatible with that building,” said Moe Moe Lwin, adding that input from relevant professionals in the fields of conservation and urban planning should be sought.

She suggested that with Rangoon’s population swelling in recent years—a trend that is expected to continue—consideration should be paid to the provision of adequate car parking, upgraded infrastructure and more residential space in the project plans and surrounding area.

Built before the turn of the 20th century, the Kyimyindaing Railway Station is one of the oldest in Burma and is part of the railway line linking Rangoon and Pyay in Pegu Division.