Cheung Kong (Holdings) has surprised analysts by deciding to retain more than half its joint-venture project in Western for leasing rather than selling all units. Company sales manager Gerald Ma said about 200 units of the Manhattan Heights development would be released for public sale, with the rest held for long-term investment. The 60-storey Manhattan Heights comprises 476 units ranging from 610 square feet to 948 sq ft. It is scheduled to be completed by the end of 1999. Mr Ma said he expected the development could achieve a rental yield of 6 to 8 per cent a year. Analysts said Cheung Kong's usual strategy was to develop and sell its properties, and it seldom held projects for leasing. But they noted that Cheung Kong had at one time intended to hold two blocks of Laguna City in Lam Tin for lease during a market downturn in 1994. The company released the two blocks for public sale when the market improved. Mr Ma said Manhattan Heights' flexible payment scheme required buyers to pay an initial deposit of only 10 per cent of the flat price. A further down-payment of 20 per cent could be made in stages during construction, with the remaining 70 per cent due when the project was ready for occupancy. He said the price and the official sale dates had yet to be determined. However, the pricing would be comparable with Cheung Kong's other joint-venture project, University Heights in western Mid-Levels, he said. Units with sea views in University Heights had sold recently for $9,500 per sq ft in the secondary market. Manager Hutchison International Hotels will provide hotel-style services at Manhattan Heights, which offers a 35,000 sq ft clubhouse and 121 parking spaces.