The Hong Kong government has unveiled its land sale programme for the new financial year from April 2018 to March 2019, including four commercial sites and 27 residential sites. Drawing the most attention is a 6-hectare commercial site above the Hong Kong terminus of the Express Rail Link connecting Kowloon to mainland China. Analysts estimate the site to be valued at as much as HK$142 billion ($18 billion) — more than five times the city’s largest-ever land sale to date.
The monster site, plot KIL 11262, lies at the junction of Lin Cheung Road and Austin Road West in Kowloon, above the terminus of the Guangzhou–Shenzhen–Hong Kong Express Rail Link. The rail project is expected to be completed by year-end, linking Hong Kong with the mainland’s national high-speed rail network, and cutting the transit time from Hong Kong to Guangzhou from 4.5 hours to 2 hours.
Rail Terminus Project as Big as ICC
The 5.88 hectare (14.5 acre) commercial site can yield up to 3.16 million square feet (294,000 square metres) of commercial gross floor area, making it even larger than Sun Hung Kai’s 2.9 million square foot International Commerce Centre (ICC) tower that currently dominates Kowloon West.
Analysts estimate the price of the plot could range from more than HK$90 billion ($11 billion) to HK$142 billion ($18 billion). Nan Fung currently holds the record for Hong Kong’s biggest-ever commercial sale, the acquisition of a site in Kai Tak for HK$24.6 billion ($3.16 billion) last May.
The preliminary plan for the prime site in the pipeline includes a set of three office towers from 21 to 23 storeys, totalling 2.8 million square feet (260,128 square metres) of gross floor area. The project also includes 316,500 square feet (29,403 square metres) of retail space.
Kai Tak Commercial Space Up for Grabs
The three other commercial sites to be sold are all located in Hong Kong’s former Kai Tak airport area, namely NKIL 6588, and the pair of adjoining sites NKIL 6546 and NKIL 6547. With a combined floor area of 237,300 square metres (2.55 million square feet), the lots are allocated for commercial or hotel use. The sites NKIL 6546 and NKIL 6547 are rolled over from the past financial year.
The land sale plan also provides for 27 residential sites to be offered for public tender in the next financial year. The sites will provide about 25,500 flats for the private housing market, up 35 percent from the 18,900-unit pipeline generated by the previous year’s land sales.
While the majority of the plots are located in Kowloon, the new land sale programme includes a 1.76 hectare (189,445 square foot) luxury residential site in the city’s upscale Victoria Peak neighborhoud. The plot, RBL 1211, is situated at Nos. 2, 4, 6, 8, 9 and 11 Mansfield Road, and is estimated to be valued at HK$6.6 billion ($843 million), or over HK$70,000 ($8,940) per square foot.