The government tender for the first commercial site to become available in 16 years in Tsim Sha Tsui right attracted 18 bidders yesterday. The commercial site at Middle Road, a former multi-storey car park next to the Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel and Towers, received bids from various developers and firms focused on hotel or commercial property. It is the only site in the district released for sale after 1998 and could be worth up to HK$4.5 billion. "The site is in a prime location. The return would be good no matter if the winning bidder built a hotel or an office," said Reggie Lai Yui-chung, project planning manager at Billion Development, a developer focused on office development. Cheung Kong (Holdings), Sun Hung Kai Properties, Henderson Land Development, New World Development and Wheelock Properties were among the large developers that submitted bids. Sino Land teamed up with Chinese Estates, CSI Properties and Chuang's China Investments in a joint bid. Mainland developer Shimao Property and small developers Tai Cheung, Emperor International, Dorsett Hospitality International, Billion Development, ITC Properties and a consortium of Paliburg and Regal Hotels International also put in bids. Tai Cheung executive director Li Wing-sau said: "The price and rent of offices are rising. Since there is a lack of office supply in Tsim Sha Tsui and the location of the site is very good, we prefer to build an office on the site." Surveyors estimated the site could be worth between HK$3.4 billion and HK$4.5 billion, or between HK$10,000 and HK$13,236 per square foot. The site covers an area of 28,309 sq ft and could yield a gross floor area of 339,971 sq ft. Under the land lease, the winning bidder will have to provide a public car park with leased parking spaces for 345 cars and 39 motorcycles on the site.