Henderson Land Development triggered a residential site in the West Kowloon reclamation to be auctioned next month. Group chairman Lee Shau-kee yesterday said the company made the minimum guaranteed price of HK$1.1 billion to take the site off the application list. The site, spanning 1.045 hectares, with a plot ratio of 7.5 times, can be developed into a total gross area of 843,600 square feet - 731,144 sq ft of residential space and 112,483 sq ft of retail space. Land on the application list will be released for auction when a developer guarantees a minimum acceptable price. The bid offered by Henderson Land would be the opening bid in the auction, scheduled to be held on April 15, the Lands Department said. Mr Lee said developers were willing to trigger land for sale on the application list only when they believed the property market was stable. Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong, vice-chairman and managing director of Sun Hung Kai Properties, said there were other developers applying for land sale on the list. 'I know applications are not limited to the two sites that have been successfully triggered. Developers will apply for land sale when they manage to sell their projects,' Mr Kwok said. A Lands Department spokeswoman did not unveil details on applications under consideration. 'There's no further successful bid on hand for the coming auction,' she said. A luxury residential site at the junction of Cornwall Street and Tat Chee Avenue in Kowloon Tong, also on the application list, would be auctioned next month. The 1.47-hectare site can be developed into a total floor area of 301,000 sq ft. The minimum guaranteed price, at HK$460 million, represents an accommodation value of HK$1,527 per square foot. The applicant's identity is not known. Mr Kwok would not say if SHKP had submitted an application for land but he said SHKP was interested in the sites to be auctioned next month. He said the United States economy seemed to be improving and he forecast the SAR property market could turn around in the second half of this year or by next year. Surpass Property Strategy Consultant managing director Charles Lai Chin-pang said the HK$1.1 billion price offered by Henderson Land was reasonable but the final transaction price at auction could be pushed higher by competition. SK Pang Surveyors managing director Pang Shiu-kee estimated the West Kowloon site would be worth about HK$1.35 billion, representing an accommodation value of HK$1,600 per square foot. He said his prediction took into account the average value paid by Amoy Properties for a larger neighbouring site at the end of 2000. Amoy paid an accommodation value of HK$1,582 per square foot, or HK$2.58 billion, for a 217,430 sq ft site at an auction in December 2000. That site has a potential floor area of more than 1.6 million sq ft. Another two residential sites to be auctioned next month include a luxury residential lot in Sha Tin covering 1.93 hectares with a developable floor area of 436,200 sq ft and a plot in Stanley with a developable area of 30,000 sq ft.