New World Development, Cheung Kong (Holdings) and Shanghai Industrial Investment yesterday launched the sale of their Sky Tower joint venture in To Kwa Wan to compete with rival projects. The move came just ahead of tomorrow's sales of Ocean Shores, developed by Sun Hung Kai Properties and Swire Properties in Tseung Kwan O, and Sereno Verde, built by Henderson Land Development and New World Development in Yuen Long. The first batch of 32 units at Sky Tower is priced at HK$3,046 per square foot, compared with HK$2,208 for the first 16 units at Sereno Verde and HK$3,088 for the first 32 units of Ocean Shores. Sky Tower's sale date was not revealed but the developers said it could be as early as today. Sky Tower will have 2,208 units, to be completed by August 2004. A three- to four-star hotel with 300 to 400 rooms will also be built as part of the development. If all units are sold, the developers expect a return of between HK$5 billion and HK$6 billion. Cheung Kong executive director Justin Chiu Kwok-hung said the project was not restricted by the consent scheme and could be released for sale two years ahead of completion. New World director and group general manager Stewart Leung Chi-kin said the project was launched earlier because To Kwa Wan had had no new major supply for more than 10 years. Internal sales could begin as early as today, he said. 'Developers are acting according to their own schedule. [They] will not consider whether the flat prices are pressured or not,' Mr Leung said. He said he was not concerned if the Government began again to sell thousands of subsidised flats under the Home Ownership Scheme (HOS). New World's subsidiary Hip Hing Construction had a finished subsidised housing project in Hunghom providing more than 2,000 units, pending possible sale. Mr Chiu said a resumption of HOS sales could slightly affect the lower-end private housing market. Meanwhile, Swire Properties said Ocean Shores phase three had secured about 800 registered buyers and 86 units had been offered for tomorrow's sale. Sun Hung Kai Properties expects to release 800 flats at Park Island phase one on Ma Wan Island in July and generate between HK$1.6 billion and HK$2 billion, according to Victor Lui Ting, executive director of its estate agency subsidiary. Another 300 units of phase one would be kept for rent. He said some companies associated with the airport and the Disneyland works were negotiating to buy or rent Park Island units.