SIU Lek Yuen, near Sha Tin, and Fanling have become popular alternatives in recent months for industrial properties and godowns, according to Paul Anderson, manager, industrial property, at Richard Ellis. The fact that Sino Land recently paid a record price for a residential plot in Sha Tin was a direct spin-off of the area's rising popularity as an alternate industrial location, according to Mr Anderson. He cited another deal in Siu Lek Yuen, in which the Odyssey building was recently bought by the Goldlion group for $490 million, or about $1,600 per sq ft. Siu Lek Yuen and Fanling have been popular with companies in traditional industrial centres like San Po Kong, Kwun Tong and Kowloon Bay, mainly because, in these areas, operations are spread across several buildings. The attraction in moving to some of the marginal areas was to consolidate their operations by moving into one large building. ''The old buildings in the traditional industrial locations can be re-developed and sold off for a huge profit. Some of the older buildings are used as quasi-industrial offices after redevelopment,'' Mr Anderson said. Also, the new marginal industrial locations were less congested, and offered efficient use of space with modern facilities. Mr Anderson said the planned sale of an industrial building in San Po Kong was more evidence of the trend. This shift to marginal industrial areas was endorsed by Scott Calendar, director, Kowloon industrial division, of Colliers Jardine. ''Recently, a 140,000 sq ft building in Fanling, owned by Western Navigation, was sold to Manhattan Garments for $108 million, at $780 per sq ft,'' Mr Calendar said. ''Sha Tin is emerging as a popular industrial district because of its location and excellent infrastructure.'' Fanling lacks similar infrastructure but, for companies with operations in Shenzhen, it is attractive. ''Godown operators are finding these new areas particularly attractive, mainly because the buildings are not in congested urban areas and are much larger,'' Mr Calendar said. However, according to one property analyst, while there was some shift into the marginal industrial areas, they were not significant enough to be of any importance. ''The only areas of interest to investors and developers are still the traditional industrial areas like Cheung Sha Wan, Kwun Tong, Kwai Chung, Tsuen Wan, and San Po Kong on Kowloon side, and North Point, Quarry Bay, and Chai Wan on Hongkong island,'' said Joseph Tsang, a director in the industrial property division of Jones Lang Wootton.