The government will invite bids next month to develop the former North Point Estate site, but will require the winning bidder for the harbourfront property to build at least 700 flats as part of its efforts to stabilise the property market.
The site in Java Road and Tin Chiu Street could fetch HK$10 billion, or HK$11,000 per square foot of total buildable floor area, Midland Surveyors and Centaline Surveyors estimate.
'It's a large piece of land and big developers will be in the hunt to win it. Competition will be keen because it's difficult to find an urban site on Hong Kong Island on the harbour, plus it's close to the MTR station,' Midland director Alvin Lam Tsz-pun said.
The site has an area of 251,875 square feet and the winning bidder can build flats with a maximum gross floor area of 577,806 square feet there. That means the average size of the apartments would be about 825 square feet. Commercial units will occupy the rest of the site.
'It's obvious that the government would like to maintain a stable supply of flats,' Lam said. 'I think this restriction will not affect developers' buying sentiment and the land price, because the government is not restricting the actual size of the flats so they can still build large and small units.'
Centaline director James Cheung King-tat said that, despite the site's prime location, the requirement to build 700 flats would put a brake on the site's price. He expects the land to sell for HK$11,000 per square foot of buildable area, but says it could have fetched HK$13,000 per square foot without the restriction. 'With the sea view, developers will build luxury flats there and I think it will still draw a keen response,' Cheung said.
The site would be open for tender on May 25. Tenders will close on July 6, the Lands Department said.
Meanwhile, the government said it had received 11 bids for a luxury residential site near 110 Repulse Bay Road tipped to become the most expensive site sold in Hong Kong. It received 12 bids for another residential site in Siu Lam, Tuen Mun.
Cheung Kong, Sino Land, K Wah Real Estates and a consortium led by Paliburg Holdings submitted bids for both sites. Wheelock Properties, Sun Hung Kai Properties, Wing Tai Properties and Tai Cheong Holdings bid solely for the Repulse Bay site.
Surveyors expect the latter to sell for up to HK$1.8 billion, or HK$45,000 per buildable square foot, beating the record high of HK$42,192 per square foot paid for a site in Mount Kellett Road on The Peak in 2006.
Henderson Land, Emperor Group and Wang On Group also bid for the Tuen Mun site, which is expected to fetch the government HK$117 million to HK$194 million, or HK$3,000 to HK$5,000 per buildable square foot.
Donald Cheung Ping-keung, executive director at Emperor Group, said if the group won the site, it would build luxury low-rise villas or flats which could be sold for around HK$15,000 per square foot at current market prices. He said the former North Point Estate site might be too large for it to develop, so it might team up with other developers.