Central Harbourfront Commercial Site 3

HK’s Major Developers Bid For Central Harbourfront Commercial Site 3

HONG KONG – In what could likely be the most expensive land sale in Hong Kong’s history, property developers controlled by the richest clans in the Chinese territory have submitted bids for the New Central Harbourfront Commercial Site 3, reported The South China Morning Post (SCMP) on Friday afternoon (18 June, SGT).

Hong Kong’s biggest developer by market value, Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) has verified that it is taking part in the tender for the 516,316 sq ft site at Connaught Place in Central that can generate 1.61 million sq ft of gross floor area (GFA). It also includes the 1976 General Post Office building, which will likely be torn down to make way for the development.

CK Asset Holdings, 1 of 2 flagship firms owned by Hong Kong’s richest person Li Ka-shing also submitted a bid, likewise for Henderson Land Development, which was established by the city’s second wealthiest individual Lee Shau-kee.

Wharf Real Estate Investment Company, a subsidiary of the Woo family’s Wheelock and Company Ltd, has also teamed up with Hong Kong’s rail operator MTR Corporation and ChinaChem Group, which was awarded the 286,140 sq ft commercial site along Caroline Hill Road last month.

Sino Land, which is controlled by Robert Ng Chee Siong’s family, also partnered with the Lo family’s Great Eagle Holdings and China’s state-owned company China Merchants Group to submit a bid.

Central’s biggest lessor of commercial property Hongkong Land refused to reveal if it’s vying for the site.

“Most of the big developers are taking part in the tender process, which shows their long term confidence in Hong Kong’s economic outlook,” commented Thomas Lam, Executive Director at property consultancy Knight Frank, who had expected 3 to 5 bids.

The plot has been appraised at HK$37 billion to HK$55 billion (HK$22,980 psf to HK$34,000 psf), but overall development cost could reach HK$65 billion (inclusive of land cost), he noted.

According to Hong Kong’s Lands Department, it received a total of 6 bids for the site, and the winning party will be announced on or before 12 November 2021.

Notably, the New Central Harbourfront Commercial Site 3 is being sold via a 2-envelope tender, in which the bid price as well as the development’s design & its compatibility with the surrounding area will both be equally considered.

“The system is likely to influence the result of the tender, as some bidders have invested significantly to come up with outstanding designs that include innovative ideas and technical (specifications),” added Hannah Jeong, Head of valuation and advisory services at Colliers in Hong Kong.

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