Hong Kong conglomerate CK Asset is proposing to convert a Hong Kong hotel into a 5,000-unit housing estate, the company revealed in a filing with the city’s town planning board.
The listed company controlled by the family of retired tycoon Li Ka-shing submitted an application to redevelop its 1,100-room Harbour Plaza Resort Hotel in Tin Shui Wai into what could be the biggest private housing estate to be built in Hong Kong in the last decade, according to an account in the South China Morning Post.
The proposed redevelopment will see the conversion of the existing 19-year-old hotel into two 53-storey residential towers yielding a gross floor area of up to 185,817 square meters (2,000,117 square feet). The planned 5,000 flats will be spread across 47 floors in each building.
Giving Urban Density a New Meaning
With about 1.5 million square feet of gross floor area allocated to residential development, this means each unit will have an average size of 300 square feet. Although the homes would be about 50 percent larger than the so-called nano flats that have been grabbing the public attention until recently, the project would average around 50 units per floor, earning it the title of the most densely packed private residence in a city known for its overcrowded living spaces.
Market observers said the construction cost of the project, in the far northwestern reaches of the New Territories, would be around HK$4,500 per square foot, and the homes could be sold for HK$9,000 to HK$14,000 per square foot upon completion in three to five year’s time, reported the SCMP.
CK Asset highlighted in the application that the development is “totally in line with the government’s latest policies to increase housing land supply.” The company’s proposal came at a time that Hong Kong government government missed its 2018/2019 land supply target of providing 18,000 private units by almost a quarter.
The proposed redevelopment followed CK Asset’s massive 15,800-unit Kingswood Villas, also in far-flung Tin Shui Wai — a gateway to China’s much touted Greater Bay Area. Now headed by Li’s son Victor, CK spent nearly 10 years completing the 58-block estate where the latest transaction price has dropped below HK$10,000 per square foot, according to Centaline Property data.
5,000-Unit Project Defies the Downturn
Hong Kong’s notoriously expensive real estate market went from red hot to frostbitten since the second half of 2018. With concerns over a US-China trade war and rising interest rates combining to hit the market from both sides, Hong Kong saw its first dip in home prices in 29 months during August. Home prices have since dropped by 7.2 percent since peaking in July.
Last month, properties of all kinds recorded steep drops in price. At 397 units, new private home sales in December amounted to just more than half of the 729 sales recorded in November. The sales of industrial units also recorded a 31 per cent month-on-month decline in December, while retail shop transactions fell by 34.7 per cent.