Chinachem is weighing its biggest new development since settling a five-year court battle over the legal ownership of the assets of the Chinachem Charitable Foundation with which it is closely associated. The project being considered by the privately held developer is in Mid-Levels, where it won approval to turn the 32-year-old University Heights building into three 14-storey blocks of luxury flats. Groundwork investigation at the site began on November 1, days after the Court of Final Appeal handed down a written judgment explaining why it had denied businessman Tony Chan Chun-chuen leave to appeal against an earlier High Court ruling awarding the HK$50 billion estate of the company's late chairman Nina Wang Kung yu-sum to the charity she founded. The refusal of leave to appeal was the final hurdle in the battle for control of the fortune. In his first comments to the media after the judgment, the late Wang's brother Kung Yan-sum, the chairman of Chinachem, said the firm might consider listing if it benefited the group's charitable work. Chinachem says the Mid-Levels project could provide total gross floor area of 153,000 square feet, but sales manager Ng Shung-mo said the final plans were not yet drawn up. 'We have approval from the Buildings Department, but we have yet to decide exactly how to redevelop University Heights. The building approval is effective for two years and we are now studying the property's potential,' Ng said. All of the flats in the building are being leased, but Ng said the tenancy agreements had a termination clause with six months' notice. Ricky Poon Wai-ki, executive director of residential sales at Colliers International, said if the project goes ahead, flats could sell for HK$18,000 to HK$20,000 per square foot - similar to prices at Azura, a luxury Swire Properties development in the area. Chinachem also plans to redevelop the Bisney Crest site in Pok Fu Lam and Belgravia in Mid-Levels. The Bisney Crest site has been cleared. Chinachem will build five three storey houses and a four-storey block of luxury flats there. The development could provide a total gross floor area of about 71,000 square feet. The department approved the developer's plan for the site a year ago. It also cleared Chinachem's plan to build a 26-storey block of high-end flats with a total gross floor area of 67,484 square feet on the site of Belgravia in MacDonnell Road. 'We always study the development potential of our old residential buildings to see whether we should redevelop or renovate the building. We decided to redevelop Bisney Crest and Belgravia,' Ng said. Flats at Bisney Crest could sell for the most of all the new Chinachem projects, Poon, of Colliers, said. He expects them to fetch HK$16,000 to HK$18,000 per square feet. Houses in the development could sell for at least HK$20,000 per square foot. Flats at Belgravia might sell for HK$15,000 to HK$18,000 per square foot, he said. Ng said Chinachem would keep replenishing its land bank by redeveloping old buildings and buying land at auction. 'We are interested in sites in the urban area. We will focus on luxury residential sites and mass residential sites but the main consideration will be whether there are any restrictions on flat numbers and sizes.' Ng is more optimistic about luxury residences than the mass residential market. 'The price gap between luxury and mass residential will continue to grow. The prices of mass residential may fall 10 to 15 per cent as there will be plenty of new supply ... But the prices of luxury urban residences will remain stable.' However, Poon said the luxury market was clouded by global uncertainties and rising interest rates. 'The tightening policies for mortgages in Hong Kong and on the mainland will continue ... luxury residential prices will fall 10 to 15 per cent in the coming year,' he said.