RANGOON — The Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) began reclaiming an area of public roadway on Sule Pagoda Road on Monday currently occupied by the Sule Shangri-La hotel’s car park and signage.
U Aye Ko, deputy head of the committee’s engineering department for roads and bridges, said that the municipal body is proceeding to dismantle the hotel’s car park and construct a two-lane road and sidewalk.
“The area was originally a public space and we now reclaimed it for public use,” he said. The project is scheduled to be completed within a month.
U Than, the assistant secretary of the YCDC, told The Irrawaddy that the move was part of the committee’s effort to resolve the traffic congestion along the Sule Pagoda Road in front of the hotel and the hotel’s adjacent commercial complex, Sule Square.
“The private car park in front of the hotel’s portico intrudes into public road area,” he said.
According to The Myanmar Times, Helene Acuna, the communications manager for Sule Shangri-La, said that the hotel is “working with YCDC to improve traffic flow in the area”.
Sule Shangri-La Hotel, formerly known as Traders Hotel, is a 22-story structure in the heart of downtown Rangoon.
The hotel was built in the 1990s in a partnership between blacklisted tycoon Steven Law (also known as Tun Myint Naing)—the head of the Asia World conglomerate, and the founder of the Kuok Group—and Malaysian billionaire Robert Kuok, who owns a major stake in its current operator Shangri-La Asia Ltd.