One development proud to live it up with Henry

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 11 March, 2012, 12:00am


Naming a building 'The Henry' may not be the best bet for a property company in this political climate, given the battering one chief executive candidate has been taking.

These days any mention of the name Henry is immediately associated with scandal-hit Henry Tang Ying-yen.

But the building's real estate agent, Savills, can see the funny side of the new Sai Ying Pun development, which boasts: 'The Henry redefines lifestyle accommodation in the city'. Its advertising slogan also declares: 'Living It Up With The Henry - Where The Good Life Begins.'

'It has nothing to do with that Henry,' said a laughing Savills associate director (projects) Sdever Li.

'It is a very topical name at the moment, but it has nothing to do with this building at all. The timing could be better, but there is no such thing as bad publicity.'

Of the building's 34 guest suites, half are already leased so the name is not putting anyone off.

Savills were also at lengths to add that the basement was closed and nothing was in it. 'No. There is no basement - it is completely sealed up,' Li said.

The owner and landlord of 'The Henry' is Leonard Chan. Described by Savills as a low-profile Hong Kong businessman, he named the building after his father and son. 'That's the only reason for the name, nothing else,' Li said.

Li said it was an ideal time to refurbish the building as serviced apartments in Western district were very popular with investors.

It took a year to transform the former commercial building into 23 floors of two-bedroom, one-bedroom and studio flats designed for stays of one month to a year.

There is no doubt the suites are luxurious and modern, but small references to 'the other Henry' can still be found. Mao: The Unknown Story is on a book shelf in one of the rooms, while each room has a wine rack. There are also two bathrooms in the two-bedroom suites, but no Japanese bath.

Perhaps this is the start of a new politically inspired trend. A new Sichuan and Peking restaurant in Soho rejoices in the unlikely name of The Monogamous Chinese - although the Sunday Morning Post is assured the 'monogamous' in the restaurant's name refers to the chef's expressed fidelity for using original recipes, passed down from generation to generation.

If only the same could be said of the city's politicians.