A residential redevelopment incorporating up to 1,000 flats in Sai Ying Pun in Western District has attracted keen interest from big to medium developers on the back of the go-ahead for MTR Corp's West Island line extension. The Urban Renewal Authority said it had received 11 bids for the project, which covers a site area of about 38,000 square feet at First Street and Second Street. Tenders closed yesterday. The project will provide a gross floor area of about 425,000 sqft, mainly for residential use. It will also include an 11,800 sqft home for the elderly and about 7,500 sqft of landscaped open space. Ricky Wong Kwong-yiu, a sales and marketing director with one of the bidders, Wheelock Properties, said last week's green light for the new rail line to Kennedy Town helped enhance the appeal of the project. 'I expect other developers will be more aggressive in their bids. We have factored in the favourable effect brought by the approval of the new rail route in our bid,' Mr Wong said. He said the total investment for the project was as high as $2.5 billion. The MTR extension, which is expected to be completed within four to five years, will add three stations - University, Sai Ying Pun and Kennedy Town. The line should cut travel time between Sheung Wan and Kennedy Town by at least a half. 'I expect the price difference between residential properties in Island East and West to narrow with the opening of the new rail line,' Mr Wong said. Homes in Western District were about 20 per cent to 30 per cent cheaper than comparable properties in Island East, he said. Among the bidders were big guns such as Cheung Kong (Holdings), Sun Hung Kai Properties, Henderson Land Development and Sino Land, and mid-tier developers such as KWah International, Chinese Estates Holdings and Nan Fung Development. Quinly Wan, a senior property manager at KWah Real Estates, a member of KWah Group, said the company was lured by the location and its size. Ms Wan said the company had also expressed its interest in another Urban Renewal Authority project in Tai Kok Tsui that was expected to provide about 150 home units.