Swire Properties has acquired the Haking Wong family's commercial site at 981 King's Road for HK$435 million in a move to expand Taikoo Place in Quarry Bay. The company will build a 32-storey 270,000-square feet office building on the 16,000-sq ft lot. Its Island East portfolio has 11 buildings, interconnected with fibre-optics in the area. Scheduled for completion in the first half of 2003, the office building will become the third member added to the portfolio, following the planned Cityplaza Two and Cityplaza One extensions. Swire recently revealed it would start construction of Cityplaza Two within 12 months and finish it within three years while the Cityplaza One extension needs 20 months to complete. Cityplaza One extension involves adding 16 floors, comprising 448,000 square feet, on top of the 21-storey office tower. Cityplaza Two is the redevelopment of the Mount Parker House, which will provide a 34-storey 575,000 sq ft building. This means Swire will have an additional 1.3 million sq ft of office space coming on stream in the next three to four years. The family of Haking Wong, who sold the King's Road site, arranged a private tender inviting acquisition or joint venture proposals for this development site early this month. The family chose to sell the property to Swire instead of forming a joint venture. Cheung Kong (Holdings) is understood to have been another aggressive bidder for the lot. It is also understood that other major developers such as Sun Hung Kai Properties and Henderson Land Development had not joined the bidding. Swire director and general manager Stephan Spurr said: 'The addition of the 981 King's Road site is a natural territorial expansion of our portfolio in Island East. The new building will be equipped with the most advanced IT and telecommunications infrastructure.' The property deal is Swire's second major land acquisition in two months. It accepted a land premium of HK$799 million for its Taikoo Valley residential project in Quarry Bay last month.