CHEUNG Kong (Holdings) and Hutchison Whampoa have won the property development rights in a joint venture with the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) to build a commercial complex at the Hunghom reclamation site. The multi-billion dollar project is set to strengthen further Cheung Kong's and Hutchison's dominance in the Hunghom area. A joint announcement issued yesterday said the KCRC and an equally-owned vehicle of Cheung Kong and Hutchison, both controlled by tycoon Li Ka-shing, had entered into a joint venture agreement on December 15 for the project. To be built on about five hectares of land, the project will have a floor area of about 1.4 million square feet. It will feature a 600-room hotel with a gross floor area of 430,560 sq ft and three office towers with a total of about 753,500 sq ft. The remainder will include a shopping arcade, cinema, car parks and other facilities. The project is expected to complete by 1999. Officials of KCRC, Cheung Kong and Hutchison were not available for further comment on the project yesterday. Analysts estimated the project to be worth $6 billion to $8 billion on current market rates, assuming the value for each hotel room at $3.5 million and office premises selling at $6,000 to $8,000 per square foot. Cheung Kong and Hutchison defeated strong challenges from other developers in the tender for the Hunghom project which closed in August last year. It was believed that developers which had submitted competitive bids included New World Development, Henderson Land, Sun Hung Kai Properties, Sino Land, Swire Properties and Hang Lung Development. It was a lengthy process for the KCRC to assess various developers' submissions, during which it also made certain changes to the development plan. Prior to the official announcement on the tender results, Cheung Kong and Hutchison had been tipped as the forerunners to secure the contract as they looked eager to expand their property portfolio in Hunghom. The massive Whampoa Garden residential project was built by Hutchison. The group recently announced it would spend $200 million to upgrade its 1.4 million sq ft commercial complex in this development. Hutchison has redeveloped its former distribution centre site adjacent to Whampoa Garden into a complex comprising two office towers with 863,000 sq ft of space, a 400-room hotel and 100 serviced apartments. Cheung Kong is engaged in a joint venture with China Light & Power to redevelop the former Hok Un power station site in Hunghom into a housing estate. They agreed early this year to pay a $3.81 billion land premium to the Government to redevelop the 6.42 hectare site. The project will comprise 25 residential towers and a five-storey commercial building over two basement levels of car park. In total, 4,750 flats will be built in phases in six years.