This is a building that I’ve kept an eye on ever since I moved to Hanoi over 16 years ago. It was a pharmacy back in the day. It also happens to be located in the Hoan Kiem District, a short walk from the lake, one of the most expensive areas of the city.
Don’t let the modesty of this small two-story building fool you. I would guess that its value is in the low seven figures (USD), which is why it will be renovated, sooner or later, to be used for an entirely different purpose. Hopefully, the owner retains it charming appearance. Anyone who owns property in this area is wealthy, at least on paper.
This building is literally a few steps from a site where the Ritz Carlton Residences are under construction. The cost will be $25,000 USD per square meter, which means a 100 m2 condo will set you back a cool $2.5 million. My prediction? They will sell out. Here’s a 2011 post about this site and what was there before.
I’m encouraged by the fact that many old buildings are restored rather than razed only to have some architectural monstrosity take their place. It is the French colonial era architecture and old trees that contribute to Hanoi’s charm.
Shalom (שלום), MAA