New property giant joins three-way fight for Hong Kong Sports Park as debt-stricken HNA disappears from view
Guangzhou R&F Properties joins New World Development and Dragages Hong Kong in race for HK$32 billion contract at old airport site at Kai Tak
There will be no delay in the tendering exercise for the long-awaited HK$32 billion Sports Park, despite the sudden withdrawal of one of the three selected consortiums.
Guangzhou R&F Properties, listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange and principally engaged in the development and sale of properties, has been added to the list along with New World Development and Dragages Hong Kong.
A mainland and Hong Kong companies-led consortium, formed by nine investors, withdrew from the project after they were selected by the government as one of the three original tenderers last December.
A sports official said HNA Group, a Chinese conglomerate headquartered in Hainan, was once involved in the project at the old airport site at Kai Tak.
The heavily indebted company recently sold three of its four plots of development land at the former airport site as Chinese authorities tighten the screws on overseas investment.
Commissioner of Sports Yeung Tak-keungsaid there would be no change on the submission date for tender as announced earlier by the government.
“We have shortlisted three applicants in stage one of the tender exercise ... the three pre-qualified applicants were invited to make tender submissions by 29 June, 2018,” said Yeung.
The three applicants will need to tender the contract for the design, construction and operation of the sports complex, with the successful bid to be given 25 years to run the facilities. The two losing applicants will each get a bid incentive of up to HK$60 million.
The Legislative Council approved the budget last summer and the government said the entire project could be completed in four years, with construction work due to start next year and finish by 2022.
The 28-hectare site (a 400-metre running track with grassy area inside is around 1.1 hectares) will have a 50,000-seat multi-purpose stadium with a retractable roof, a 10,000-seat indoor arena and a 5,000-seat public sports ground, plus shopping and dining areas. It is expected to generate up to HK$300 million in annual profits.
All three applicants are armed with global sports and entertainment promoters to secure adequate mega events as the Sports Park will operate on a self-financing basis without any subsidies from the government.
Dragages Hong Kong will be working with IMG which represents and manages some of the world’s biggest sports figures, while New World Development’s partner is Lagardere Sports, a leading worldwide sports marketing agency.
R&F Properties, which owns a soccer team in the Chinese Super League and a team in the Hong Kong Premier League, has partnered with CSM, also a global sports and entertainment agency.
Dragages, the contractor for the redevelopment of the Hong Kong Stadium in So Kon Po in the early 1990s, is planning a briefing session with the national sports associations, according to Ronnie Wong Man-chiu, secretary general of the Hong Kong Olympic Committee.
“The Sports Park is the biggest ever project for local sports and we are happy to know one of the tenderers wants to introduce their plan to the sports community,” said Wong.
“The mega facility will not only open more opportunities for staging international sporting events but also play a key role in the development of Hong Kong sports in future.”