Site may cost Henderson HK$4.95b

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 October, 2007, 12:00am

Homeowners in neighbouring Mid-Levels blocks Merry Terrace and Merry Court may be in line for a HK$4.95 billion offer from Henderson Land Development for an en bloc redevelopment of the site into a luxury residential project.

If the offer is accepted, it could work out at prices per unit in the 44-year-old Merry Terrace ranging from HK$9.8 million to HK$20.3 million; and in the 37-year-old Merry Court ranging from HK$12 million to HK$14 million.

Sources familiar with the latest bid to redevelop the site, which is close to Caine Road Garden, said Henderson had appointed an agent to negotiate with the homeowners.

A spokesman for Henderson said the company did not have much to say at this stage.

But the South China Morning Post understands the offer on the table for units in Merry Terrace is a price of HK$14,000 per square foot and for units in Merry Court, HK$10,556 per square foot - conditional on acceptances from at least 90 per cent of owners, which will allow the developer to apply for a court order seeking the auction of the remainder.

That would amount to an all-in price to Henderson of HK$4.95 billion based on the current gross floor area of the two housing estates.

Additional development plot ratios could leave the land cost of the combined sites at about HK$7,590 per square foot, the sources said.

The last recorded transaction price at Merry Terrace was about HK$6,400 per square foot in terms of usable area in August 2005, and a flat owner said that more than 80 per cent of owners in Merry Terrace had accepted the offers and reached agreement with the developer.

The property agency had begun to negotiate with flat owners in Merry Court and met them last week.

A homeowner reported that agents said they were representing Henderson. Flat owners would vote for the acquisition proposal on October 19.

Merry Terrace, at 4A-P Seymour Road, comprises five 14-storey residential towers with 196 units. The estate, with a site area of 52,466 sq ft, could provide a maximum gross floor area of 472,194 sq ft.

Merry Court in Castle Road, next to Merry Terrace, comprises two 21-storey residential buildings with 140 units.

The property has a site area of 28,500 sq ft, which could be developed into a residential project with a total gross floor area of 180,000 sq ft.

The two sites could provide a combined gross floor area of 652,194 sq ft.


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