Heritage site diggings turn up skeletons Heritage 1881, the retail and hotel complex built on the site of the former historic Marine Police headquarters in Tsim Sha Tsui has begun attracting a growing number of retailers of upmarket luxury brands to its halls. But what is left of the 'heritage' in Heritage 1881 is open to some question, says Ah Pak. The redevelopment project triggered strong disapproval from conservationists a few years ago when it emerged that the winning developer, Cheung Kong (Holdings), would level the Tsim Sha Tsui hill and remove several mature trees on the site to build a shopping arcade. In addition, some of those historic properties that survived were to be occupied by tenants who would have the right to decide whether to allow public visits. Could the 'heritage' value of the site have been better preserved? Yes, Ah Pak has learned. It seems that Sino Land won top marks in the design category from the government for its proposed development that would have preserved the hill and the trees and left the 120-year-old harbour police headquarters almost as it was. However, Hong Kong residents had no inkling of the proposal, which never saw the light of day after Cheung Kong gave a bigger lump sum to the government for approval of its project. Cheung Kong paid HK$325.8 million for a 50-year land grant in May 2003. It's not all about cash for one property agent What motive pops into your mind when you hear that someone has chosen to be a property agent? Making lots of money? That would seem to fit the stereotype, but then there are exceptions and Marco Cheung, the general manager of Centaline China's Zhejiang branch, appears to challenge the popular notion. Ah Pak has learned that Mr Cheung resigned recently. Did he clear his desk at Centaline because he could make more money somewhere else? Well, no. In fact, he has decided to spend six months teaching children in a village school in the northeast of China. It seems Mr Cheung visited the rural school, which is sponsored by Centaline, some time ago. The school caters for village children whose parents make up a migrant labour force that has headed south to earn a living. That comes at a high cost to the children, who make do without one or sometimes both parents, and their plight has touched Mr Cheung. Yes. Even property agents have a heart. Evergrande makes a financial statement Readers may recall Ah Pak reporting last week that Evergrande Real Estate Group had given reporters 10-gram gold coins embossed with the name of the hotel they had come to write about, and an envelope containing 2,000 yuan (HK$2,260) in cash. Now the same developer has come up with an inducement for fund managers to visit its mainland projects in Guangzhou, Chongqing and Wuhan. The invitations were extended via three investment banks understood to be Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs and went to fund managers who the banks thought might be interested in visiting not only the Evergrande projects but those of its rivals as well. Evergrande, or 'Ever-generous', offered to pick up the tab for the visits, and Ah Pak understands the first funded tour by fund managers flew out of Hong Kong last week and a second left yesterday. Why all that generosity? Well, the cynics say Evergrande last year failed in a bid to tap Hong Kong's equity market with a mega share sale and is rumoured to be considering a listing again. Those as generous as Evergrande say it is just a demonstration that it has no financial burden as the market had speculated.