Sun Hung Kai Properties

Wheelock triggers auction of Aberdeen site

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 September, 2007, 12:00am

Wheelock Properties, a mid-tier developer in search of development sites, triggered an auction for a residential site in Aberdeen with a bid of HK$2.5 billion.

The site could fetch up to HK$3.2 billion or HK$5,500 per square foot, surveyors said.

This is Wheelock's second attempt to put a site on the block in nine days. Last week, the developer triggered an auction for a residential site in Tai Po by offering a minimum bid of HK$3.08 billion.

The Lands Department yesterday said it had accepted Wheelock's guaranteed bid of HK$2.5 billion or HK$4,534 per square foot for the Aberdeen site.

The 68,921 square foot site, near Pao Yue Kong Swimming Pool Complex, will be offered for sale on October 15.

It could be developed into a residential project with an estimated development plot ratio of eight, providing a total residential gross floor area of 551,368 sq ft, based on Building Department regulations.

The Lands Department has not imposed a restriction on the maximum gross floor area but has restricted the site to providing up to 750 units. The average saleable area of the units will be 735 sq ft.

The building height of the site has been restricted to 110 metres.

The site faces the Shum Wan jetty and has the potential for a mid-tier residential project.

It could be developed into a project like Bel-Air in Cyberport, said Alnwick Chan Chi-hing, executive director of Kight Frank.

But the site might not fetch offers much higher than the minimum bid, said Chan Cheong-kit, a director of Lanbase Surveyors. 'The site is located on a slope and the construction cost may reach HK$1,600 per square foot,' he said.

The three-year-old Sham Wan Towers in Ap Lei Chau, developed by Sun Hung Kai Properties, is the latest project in the area.

According to Centaline Property data, prices at Sham Wan Towers ranged between HK$4,013 and HK$5,371 per square foot.

Charles Chan Chiu-kwok, managing director at Savills Valuation and Professional Services, expects prices for the project could reach HK$6,000 and HK$7,000 per square foot after completion.

Wheelock has been the most aggressive developer in triggering the auction of sites from the land application list as it lacks development sites.

The developer has triggered the auction of six development sites this year but failed to win four sites that went on sale.

Wheelock tried to trigger the auction of two sites in Ho Man Tin over the past few months but failed to meet the required minimum bids.