Owners of an aging set of luxury condominiums on Hong Kong’s Victoria Peak have applied for a compulsory sale in the hope of redeveloping a property that dates back to 1892.
The potential asking price for the collective sale of the Stewart Terrace, which was built in its current form in 1949, is HK$3 billion ($382.9 million) for the 61,499 square feet (5,713 square metres) site, according to a report in the Hong Kong Standard.
The property at 81 to 95 Peak Road once provided quarters for staff of mainline Hong Kong Jardine’s and includes 20 apartments, a swimming pool, four courtyards, and an expansive lawn. If successful, the sale would value the 20 units in the project at an average of $19 million per home.
According to Land Tribunal data, sixteen of the current owners of the terrace, who hold over 80 percent of the project’s property rights, have applied for a compulsory sale, which was encouraged by the Hong Kong government for buildings aged over 50 years. Since the application of the Stewart Terrace has passed the threshold of 80 percent, the Land Tribunal will process the case in the following months.
Hong Kong High Society Force a Sale on the Peak
According to the media report, the current owners of the site include Cheung Kee-wee, the chairman of residential property management company Wah Ha Realty, Daisy Chan, the wife of Grosvenor Asia Pacific chief and Cha family scion Benjamin Cha Yiu-chung, and Edward Chow Kwong-fai, a non-executive director of the Urban Renewal Authority and one-time board member of Macau’s Melco, China Merchants Bank and shipping group Cosco Pacific.
A three bedroom and two bathroom apartment at Stewart Terrace with a total GFA of 3,077 square feet is currently listed as available for purchase at a price of HK$69 million for rent at a monthly tariff of HK$110,000 per month on real estate website insightproperty.com.
The owners of the property attempted a previous sale of Stewart Terrace in 2010, according to an article in the South China Morning Post, however, that disposal never came to fruition.
Redeveloping a Peak Property
Edward Chow, who said in an interview with the Standard that he supports the sale, believes that the site could fetch around HK$3 billion, or around HK$50,000 per square foot of built area under its approved plot ratio of 0.85.
The peak is the priciest residential neighbourhood in Hong Kong, and has witnessed a number of high-priced sales in recent months. In this September, a 20,400-square-foot multi-storey residential plot at 37 Barker Road was sold for HK$3 billion to Shenzhen-based conglomerate Hongrongyuan. According to the media report, the developer was aiming to re-develop the property as luxury housing.
A government tender slated to close on October 11th for a site at Mansfield Road on the south side of Victoria Peak is expected to bring bids of as much as HK$32.3 billion ($4.1 billion) for the right to build 37,561 square metres (404,300 square feet) of luxury housing on the plot one kilometre away from Stewart Terrace.
Post-War Project to Be Redeveloped
Built in 1949, Stewart Terrace has witnessed major changes in Hong Kong’s housing world since it was originally developed near the end of the 19th century.
Redeveloped in 1949 after the original structure was damaged in World War II, according to Hong Kong history website gwulo.com, Stewart Terrace was first built as bachelor quarters for the staff of British conglomerate Jardine Matheson and British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) and was divided into flats after Jardine sold the project in 1988.
“The original Stewart Terrace was left in bad shape after the World War II, leading to it being rebuilt in its current form in the post-war period. It was actually Jardine’s digs for married couples; my parents lived there when childfree,” a netizen named Alison wrote on Gwulo. Other entries on the site shared recollections of a colonial period housing project that may soon give way to more luxurious accommodations.