Hong Kong land sale

Henderson Land wins Tsim Sha Tsui site with a HK$4.7b tender

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 September, 2014, 11:47pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 18 April, 2015, 6:26pm

Henderson Land Development outbid 17 developers to win the government tender for a commercial site in Tsim Sha Tsui for a higher-than-expected HK$4.7 billion.

One analyst said the sale would boost sentiment and was a sign that developers were keen to replenish their land banks.

The plot in Middle Road, a former multi-storey car park next to the Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel and Towers, was the first commercial site to become available in the district in 16 years. It attracted bids from the likes of Cheung Kong (Holdings), Sun Hung Kai Properties, New World Development and Wheelock Properties.

"This is a unique and well located site and we will turn it into a Ginza-style building with targeted tenants including restaurants and service industries such as spas," said Martin Lee Ka-shing, vice-chairman and managing director of Henderson.

The area of 28,309 sq ft could yield a gross floor area of 339,971 sq ft, according to the Lands Department. Under the lease, the winning bidder will have to provide a public car park with spaces for 345 cars and 39 motorcycles.

The price paid by Henderson is higher than the surveyors' estimate of between HK$3.4 billion and HK$4.5 billion. Lee said the total investment in the project would be HK$6.5 billion and it would be completed in 2019.

Alfred Lau, an analyst at Bocom International, said: "The price is higher than my expectation, indicating Henderson's optimistic outlook for the project."

He described it as a unique project that would not have an immediate impact on the commercial property market.

"But it will boost sentiment and give a positive message to the market that developers have started scaling up their land banks," said Lau.

Henderson Land shares hit a 52-week high of HK$55.15 yesterday, finishing up 6.18 per cent at HK$55.

Flush with funds after a spurt in sales, many leading developers have again started to shop for land as confidence returns on signs that the housing market is stabilising.

On Monday, the Urban Renewal Authority announced that an alliance led by Sino Land won the contract for its single biggest project: the rejuvenation of Kwun Tong's rundown town centre.

The venture, in which Sino Land holds 90 per cent interest, outbid five other tenders including Cheung Kong, Henderson Land and Sun Hung Kai Properties. The tender followed an earlier aborted exercise, after which the URA relaxed the sale terms.