Three bids for KCRC Tsuen Wan site

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 28 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 28 April, 2007, 12:00am

The tender for the first phase of Kowloon-Canton Railway Corp's HK$5.4 billion Tsuen Wan West Station residential project attracted bids from only the three largest builders in the city, something analysts blamed on the high investment cost and robust supply in the area.

The railway operator yesterday announced that it had received bids from Cheung Kong (Holdings) and Sun Hung Kai Properties, despite last month inviting 13 developers to make offers for the project.

Sino Land's associate director Ringo Chan Wing-kwong yesterday said that the company had submitted a bid but KCRC chief executive James Blake said later that it was a fake one.

Bids are placed in a box in an area viewable to the public and there has long been speculation that developers occasionally have submitted unwinnable, or non-offers to talk up the property market.

Surveyor Albert So Chun-hin said the worse than expected response was due to the investment cost being more than HK$5 billion, a level only major developers could afford.

'The land premium of HK$2,909 per square foot imposed by the government is high. It kept many developers away,' he said.

The Lands Department has imposed a land premium levy of HK$3.54 billion for the project.

Knight Frank executive director Alnwick Chan Chi-hing said the plentiful supply in Tsuen Wan was another reason for the response.

'Many developers are more interested in the three residential sites to be offered in the land auction next month. A site located on the West Kowloon waterfront has become the target,' he said.

Sino Land has already launched the 1,446-unit Vision City in Tsuen Wan at an average price of more than HK$5,000 per square foot. Property agents said the project had about 700 unsold units. Sino Land owns another residential site in Tseun Wan.

Victor Lui Ting, executive director of Sun Hung Kai Real Estate Agency, said that the company submitted the bid as the residential demand in Tsuen Wan was strong.

The KCRC project is a 258,800 square feet waterfront site next to Waterside Plaza. It can house up to seven 44 to 49-storey residential blocks with a floor area of 1.2 million square feet. It is the first phase of the Tsuen Wan West Station mixed development with a possible 1,776 units.