Hong Kong’s commercial property market is booming, and the annual awards dispensed by industry non-profit the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) show how international brokerages are stepping up their game to compete for the city’s flurry of deals.
At the RICS Awards 2018 held in Hong Kong on Friday, real estate consultancy Cushman & Wakefield, together with competitor Savills, won the Best Deal of the Year award for a HK$9 billion ($1.2 billion) project sale, marking the biggest-ever property transaction in Hong Kong’s Kowloon area.
Cushman & Wakefield’s team represented Wharf in the disposal of the 55,390 square metre 8 Bay East commercial redevelopment project last October to Shenzhen-based developer LVGEM, 21 months before the property’s handover date.
CBRE Gets Top Honour for Office Team
This year’s RICS awards were judged by a panel of 13 real estate industry veterans, who named winners and excellent achievers across 13 categories. Award recipients were picked from a shortlist of 35 contenders, narrowed down from a pool of 60 nominees.
NYSE-listed brokerage CBRE took the crown for Office Team of the Year, after its Advisory & Transaction Services – Office team helped HKEX Group consolidate its operations under one roof. The stock exchange operator will relocate from One International Finance Centre to Exchange Square in Central, where it is also a tenant, by year-end. The deal, achieved at a competitive rental rate, is said to represent the largest leasing transaction in the city’s Central business district in the past decade.
Chicago-based JLL was also honoured at the RICS event, scooping up awards for Facilities Management Team of the Year as well as Certificates of Excellence for its Retail, Office, Property Management and Project Management divisions. Eric Cheng, director of the NYSE-listed firm’s Retail Department in Hong Kong, also bagged a Certificate of Excellence for Young Surveyor of the Year.
C&W Lures WeWork to Converted Hotel
In addition to its 8 Bay East win, Chicago-based Cushman & Wakefield also took home Certificates of Excellence for both Office Team of the Year and Retail Team of the Year. RICS highlighted the company’s prowess in leasing out the former Hotel LKF to shared office giant WeWork, after helping the landlord, Peterson Group, convert the building in the Lan Kwai Fong nightlife district for office use. Cushman & Wakefield secured a 15-year lease commitment from WeWork as the sole anchor tenant of the property, renamed as LKF Tower. The global co-working giant has confirmed it would open its Lan Kwai Fong centre later this year.
Also recognised at the ceremony was Knight Frank, which took home the top award for Professional Consultancy Services Team of the Year for the fifth year in a row. The London-headquartered firm, which has focussed on growing its agency and professional teams in Greater China over the past year, also received a Certificates of Excellence for Residential Team of the Year and KF’s Cyrus Fong, who joined the company in 2016, took the Certificate of Excellence for Young Surveyor of the Year.
London-listed rival Savills, in addition to sharing the deal of the year award with C&W, took the top slot for Residential Team.