Kowloon Development has agreed to exchange land it had hoped to redevelop for years on the site of the former St Joseph’s Home for the Aged in Clear Water Bay, and will pay the largest land premium in four years for another site in Kowloon. The property developer said two of its subsidiaries agreed to surrender a 19,335 sq m (208,120 sq ft) lot at the historic site to the government and would pay a premium of HK$9.66 billion (US$1.24 billion) for a larger lot of 22,373 sq m with a 50-year lease term, according to a stock exchange filing on Friday. Kowloon Development said it plans to build five residential towers on the new site over a retail shopping centre. “With the development of the regranted lot, it is expected to bring synergy to the company’s property portfolio, enhance its income revenue and yield long-term return for the shareholders of the company,” Kowloon Development said in the filing. “The company’s development land bank and foundation will also be further broadened and strengthened as a result.” The new lot will yield a maximum of 2.16 million sq ft of total gross floor space, with the land premium translating into HK$4,464 per sq ft. The announcement did not specify where the new lot is, just that it is identified as New Kowloon Inland Lot No. 6458. A search of the city’s Land Registry late Friday did not immediately produce a location for the lot. It is the largest land premium since Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP), one of the city’s biggest home builders, agreed to pay a record premium of HK$15.9 billion in 2017 to build more than 4,700 villas and medium-rise flats on converted farmland in Sai Kung. Kowloon Development had sought for years to redevelop the historic site of the St Joseph’s Home for the Aged near the Choi Hung MTR station in Ngau Chi Wan, citing it as one of its three major projects in Hong Kong in its interim financial report in September. The St Joseph’s Home was operated by the Little Sisters of the Poor and was one of the first organisations dedicated to caring for the city’s elderly. It served as a home for refugees who fled the Japanese invasion of China in the 1930s. Planning permission was first granted for the site in 2003, requiring the developer to submit preservation plans for three historic buildings on the site: the Villa, the Gate House and Dormitory A of the former St Joseph’s Home. The Villa was originally owned by Chan Keng-yu, one of the founding directors of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce. In 2010, those three buildings were classified as grade 2 historic buildings by the city’s Antiquities Advisory Board. The issue of the land premium at the historic site had lingered for years despite foundation works and traffic assessments being conducted at the site. In its interim report, Kowloon Development said land premium procedures at the site were “in progress” and the expected date for completion of the project was “to be determined”.