Swire Properties' HK$4 billion Guangzhou Pacific Place development is expected to be deferred because of the need to incorporate public facilities in the commercial complex. Development and valuation general manager Gordon Ongley said the development in Guangzhou could take five to six years to complete. Swire's expectation for completion by 2005, when it announced the project last year, means the development will be delayed by more than two years. 'It will be a long-term core investment [of Swire Properties in China] but it's taking longer than we thought,' Mr Ongley said. He said the four million square foot commercial complex would have to fit in a large-scale cultural centre and public library, and the details were pending government approval. The latest plan was to build two office towers providing a total floor area of 1.6 million sq ft, a shopping centre with one million sq ft of retail space, a 500-room hotel and an arts centre, Mr Ongley said. 'The scale [of the Guangzhou project] is about two-thirds of Pacific Place [in Hong Kong],' he said. Swire will invest HK$2.2 billion for a 55 per cent stake in the joint venture with the Guangzhou Daily group. The whole project will cost about HK$4 billion and it is in the central Tianhe district. 'But we'll be patient, as we are in Hong Kong,' he said, adding that Swire spent more than 10 years acquiring land in Hong Kong for the redevelopment of commercial complex Pacific Forum in Wan Chai. The group also spent several years unifying the ownership of two industrial buildings - Aik San Factory and Melbourne Industrial Building in Quarry Bay - to redevelop into office space to strengthen its office portfolio at Taikoo Place. The group was selective in acquiring sites because it did not mass-produce buildings, he said. 'We pay premium prices for quality products.' Swire did not have a specific target for land acquisition in Hong Kong at present, Mr Ongley said. The company is interested in a Tsuen Wan residential redevelopment spanning seven streets, which the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) put on offer and is inviting developers to express interest. Mr Ongley said some urban redevelopment sites were appealing and he was interested to see how the URA operated. 'We certainly will express interest [in the Tsuen Wan project] but Tsuen Wan is not our traditional hunting ground,' he said. The group proposed developing an Island East performing arts and exhibition centre on the open space at Hoi Yue Street in Quarry Bay, but the plan was waiting for further government studies. The proposal did not involve substantial property development because it aimed to better utilise existing public open space to enhance Island East and add value to the surrounding areas, he said. 'It made no progress and we're not actively pursuing [the Government],' he said. 'The government evaluation process, timely and complicated as negotiations, should go through the Lands, Planning and Finance [bureaus].' He believed Tung Chung new town had great development potential and Swire and Sun Hung Kai Properties had jointly acquired 2.6 million sq ft of land, or nearly 70 per cent of privately owned agricultural land in Tai Ho Valley. He expected the site could develop up to four million sq ft of residential area, pending details of the Government's planning intentions.