The chairman of Chinese developer Yuzhou Properties is a contented man. Lam Lung-on’s company, which owns a floor of The Center, Hong Kong’s most expensive commercial building, has seen the paper value of the investment grow by 66 per cent in just two years. The value of the 58th floor of the iconic office building in Central, which was sold to a group of investors for HK$40.2 billion (US$5.12 billion) in May 2017, has appreciated to about HK$50,000 (US$6,381) per square foot from about HK$30,000 two years ago, said Lam, who is also founder of Hong Kong-listed Yuzhou. “Half [of the 26,356 sq ft floor is for our own use] while the other half is for leasing,” said Lam at a media briefing on Monday. “[The value] has appreciated a lot.” Lam, who is also a deputy to the National People’s Congress, China’s national legislative body, also said that the rent on this floor had risen to more than HK$120 per sq ft, up 30 per cent from 2017. Hong Kong’s home prices gather speed in April, rising at the fastest pace in more than six years Sea Basin Investments, a Yuzhou-linked company controlled by Kwok Ying-lan, Lam’s wife, was allocated the 58th floor as a shareholder of the CHMT Peaceful Development Asia Property group, led by Hui Wing-mau, Shimao Property Holdings’ founder and Pollyanna Chu, listed by Forbes as Hong Kong’s wealthiest woman in 2017. CHMT owns a 75 per cent stake in the building. On April 3 this year, Yuzhou bought the property from Kwok for HK$898.7 million. Kwo is also the vice-chairperson of Yuzhou. “According to the valuation report prepared by an independent property valuer, the market value of the property as of January 7 , 2019 is approximately HK$1.21 billion,” Lam said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange on March 22. “It is the group’s strategy to seek investments from time to time so as to broaden the portfolio of the group’s properties.” New York’s Museum of Modern Art to open flagship store in Hong Kong developer New World’s K11 Musea Yuzhou separately rents the 49th floor at The Centre, which serves as the company’s Hong Kong headquarters. Despite the high potential return, Lam said he does not intend to invest in Hong Kong’s commercial segment and instead plans to focus on residential development in China. His comments come as a growing number of companies are holding back their expansion or relocation plans in Hong Kong amid the escalating US-China trade war. Apart from The Center, Yuzhou also owns the entire 6th floor, a part of the 21st floor and some parking spaces at Yardley Commercial Building in Sheung Wan. Yuzhou owns 17.38 million sq metres of land reserves in the mainland in 123 projects, according to its 2018 annual report. In the first four months of 2019, Yuzhou’s accumulated sales rose 12.3 per cent year on year to 16.14 billion yuan (US$2.3 billion).