Amusement site deal to go ahead

FAR East Hotels and Entertainment will proceed with its property development project at the Lai Chi Kok Amusement Park with Cheung Kong as originally planned, despite a sale agreement with Henderson Land three years ago.

Managing director Derek Chiu would not comment on the possibility that Henderson Land would eventually take an interest in the project which covers a site area of 360,000 square feet.

''We hope to develop the site with Cheung Kong, with each taking a 50 per cent stake, as we have signed the contract,'' said Mr Chiu, who added the agreement with Henderson Land was a ''provisional'' one and had been terminated.

He said Cheung Kong was aware of the existence of the agreement with Henderson Land.

Henderson Land was earlier reported to have entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement with Far East Hotels in 1991 to taking a 30 per cent interest in a redevelopment project there which had a smaller area than the current project. Far East Hotels was given $10 million as deposit.

Mr Chiu refused to comment on what grounds he regarded the agreement to have ended, while Henderson Land was understood to still consider it valid.

He said the company had yet to approach Henderson Land and the case was now being handled by legal professionals.

Far East Hotels announced in December that it had agreed to sell a 50 per cent stake in the site to Cheung Kong for $240 million. But the agreement was subject to getting the relevant government approvals within four years.

Mr Chiu said the project would provide at least 1.57 million square feet of gross floor area with more than half for residential use.