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Old January 25th, 2010, 07:46 AM   #1
hkskyline
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HONG KONG | Austin Station Development | T/O

MTR opens up two TST sites
25 January 2010
The Standard







MTR Corporation (0066) is inviting developers for expressions of interest in two residential sites atop its Austin station - the first such move by the railway operator since the onset of the financial crisis in 2008.

Site C covers 135,629 square feet and Site D 159,310 sq ft.

The total gross floor area amounts to 1.28 million sq ft, representing a plot ratio of eight. The sites can deliver around 1,200 homes.

Owing to the development scale, MTRC is considering paying part of the land premiums when it invites tenders to encourage smaller developers to participate in the large-scale project, a source told Sing Tao Daily, sister publication of The Standard.

Midland Realty district sales manager Michael Tse Ka-shing and surveyor Pang Siu-kei expect stiff competition for the sites.

``As far as I understand, the accommodation value will be about HK$10,000 per square foot,'' Tse said. ``I think big developers are very likely to get the projects, as they involve over HK$10 billion.''

Tse said the MTRC's premium subsidy may help small builders, but big developers will be competitive in bidding given their experience in projects atop Kowloon Station. He expects the completed homes to fetch over HK$20,000 psf while the final tender prices are set to boost the secondary market. Pang said the sites are among the bigger developments in Kowloon and will benefit from a number of rail lines. He expects the region to become Kowloon's transport hub.

Pang added that there are already many luxury properties atop nearby Kowloon Station while the proposed terminal of the high-speed rail between Hong Kong and Guangzhou will accommodate commercial buildings.

Tse noted there is currently no property development in the pipeline in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Applications will close on Friday, an MTR spokeswoman said.
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Old March 1st, 2010, 11:33 AM   #2
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Developers flock to bid for MTR residential project
Luxury developments above Austin Station a big drawcard

25 February 2010
South China Morning Post

MTR Corp has received an enthusiastic response from developers for the planned HK$18 billion luxury residential project above Austin Station in West Kowloon, even though it will require a huge capital commitment.

The railway operator yesterday received five bids from six developers in a tender for the project.

New World Development teamed with Wheelock Properties to submit a bid while Sun Hung Kai Properties, Henderson Land Development and Kerry Properties joined the bidding separately. Cheung Kong (Holdings) also submitted a bid, but did not disclose whether it had a partner.

The luxury residential project will be built on the top of the new Austin Station in Canton Road, next to a golf driving range that will be redeveloped into a commercial project above the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link at West Kowloon Station. The site covers 2.74 hectares and could be developed into a commercial-residential project with a total gross floor area of more than 1.28 million square feet. The project could provide 1,200 units. Total investment cost of the project is about HK$18 billion.

Sino Land, the most aggressive bidder in the land market over the past two years, did not submit a bid yesterday. However, when asked whether it had submitted a bid with a joint-venture partner, a company spokeswoman said: "We are not the one that submitted the bid."

One analyst said developers will face a large investment cost for the project. For example, such a project would boost Sino Land's gearing ratio to about 50 per cent from the current 30 per cent. Sino Land already owns two residential developments in West Kowloon.

Nelson Chan Cheong-kit, a director at Lanbase Surveyors, said the response was in line with his expectations.

"The bidding for the site will be aggressive as it is in a prime location. Property prices of the project may reach HK$20,000 to HK$30,000 per square foot when it launches. The prices may hit a record high for apartments in Hong Kong," he said.

According to transaction data from Centaline Property Agency, prices in Kowloon Station, near Austin Station, have ranged between HK$11,000 and HK$20,600 per square foot in recent months.

The Lands Department has imposed a land premium levy of HK$11.7 billion, or HK$9,140 per square foot, on the project. That means the bidders may offer at least HK$2,800 per square foot on top of the levy to MTRC for acquiring the project.

MTRC property director Thomas Ho Hang-kwong said response to the tender was satisfactory.

The railway operator will increase land supply this year. A residential project at Nam Cheong Station in Sham Shui Po will be put up for tender next month, he said. It comprises 18 residential buildings, which could provide about 3,000 units.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 02:55 PM   #3
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Development Cost For Austin MTR Residential Project HK$11.7 Billion
3 March 2010

HONG KONG -(Dow Jones)- Wheelock Properties Ltd. (0049.HK) and New World Development Ltd. (0017.HK) said Wednesday the development and related costs for the residential project above Austin station in Kowloon will total HK$11.7 billion.

MTR Corp. (0066.HK), which has the right to develop the land above the underground Austin station, awarded the tender Tuesday to a consortium equally held by Wheelock Properties and New World Development.

Wheelock and New World will each contribute capital commitment of around HK$5.8 billion, which includes the cost of the land premium.

The 1.28 million square-meter site is located near the waterfront along the western part of Hong Kong's Kowloon Peninsula and is above Austin station, which will be connected to the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link at West Kowloon station.

In a research report Wednesday, Goldman Sachs said it expects the project to be profitable. The total development cost translates into around HK$10,500 per square foot, and the prices of secondary residential properties in the vicinity average around HK$12,000-HK$15,000 per square foot.

However, the financial impact on each company will depend on how profits are shared between the consortium and MTR Corp. The rail operator usually takes around 50%-60% of profits on such projects, but analysts said MTR Corp. could take a higher percentage for the Austin station project, because it paid one-third of the HK$11.7 billion land premium.

At 0635 GMT, Wheelock Properties was up 1.3% at HK$4.69, New World Development climbed 1% to HK$14.84, and MTR Corp. jumped 2.6% to HK$27.95. The Hang Seng Index was up 0.31% at 20,971.

Apart from the Hong Kong government, MTR Corp. and the Urban Renewal Authority are the two main sources of land supply in Hong Kong.

The government has pledged to increase land supply to ease a supply shortage and prevent the formation of an asset bubble in the territory's real estate sector, after Hong Kong's residential property prices rose by an average of 29% last year.
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Old April 28th, 2010, 06:22 PM   #4
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 03:15 PM   #5
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Terminus buries roads to link with district
18 August 2010
South China Morning Post

Pedestrians are a major beneficiary of the MTR Corp's plan for the multibillion-dollar West Kowloon terminus of the Hong Kong-Guangzhou high-speed railway, which it unveiled yesterday and which will go to public tender before the end of the year.

The plan calls for roads that separate the terminus from the West Kowloon Cultural District, such as Austin Road, to be put underground, allowing pedestrians to walk to the cultural district without impediment.

Yet inbound travellers wanting to catch a train to Central will have to walk for about 10 minutes in the open to Kowloon station, although the walk to Austin station for connections elsewhere will take only about two minutes.

A large piazza planted with vegetation will front the western exit and part of it will be designated for public performances.

The MTR's general manager for the high-speed link, Paul Lo Po-hing, said the station would be a landmark.

"It will be a place for people to spend their leisure time, to relax, and to enjoy the green features and open areas with their friends and family," he said.

Most of the 11-hectare terminus, the final stop on a national high-speed rail network that will extend to Beijing, Shanghai and beyond, will be underground. It will rise about 15 metres above ground - about five floors of a residential building - with four of its five storeys burrowing 20 metres below ground.

The building will form an archway over which pedestrians will be able to walk. The highest point will provide a view across the cultural district.

Lo said that as well as glass ceilings, which will allow sunlight to penetrate two floors underground, the terminus would use other energy-saving features, such as seawater cooling plants for air conditioning and a rainwater harvesting system.

Preparatory work on the station, which began in January, precedes work on the West Kowloon Cultural District, plans for which will be released on Friday. But an MTR spokeswoman said the terminus design factored in flexibility for future integration with the cultural district.

Options were available in the terminus and Austin station for possible subways linking to other buildings, while space had been set aside to allow mainland and Hong Kong immigration clearances to be carried out on the same floor.

Yau Tsim Mong District Council chairman Edmond Chung Kong-mo said the design was better than he had expected.

"The terminus looks bright and spacious, and the greening features extend all the way to Yau Ma Tei," he said. "I think residents in the neighbourhood will welcome it."

About three hectares of the public space around the terminus will be covered in vegetation.

However, it is not known whether the public will be allowed to walk on the grass.

An engineer opposed to the project, Civic Party member Albert Lai Kwong-tak, said there was still much concern in the community about the connection between the terminus and its neighbourhood.
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Old May 11th, 2011, 04:55 AM   #6
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Now this looks like a location with the potential for a very interesting highrise building. It could effectively serve to extend the Kowloon Station skyline towards the east.

Is any information already available about the buildings and completion date?
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Old May 11th, 2011, 05:10 AM   #7
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Might have to wait a little longer for the expected occupancy dates to be published. But given the fast pace of construction in HK, I can't imagine it'll take more than 3 years to complete.
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Old May 11th, 2011, 05:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Might have to wait a little longer for the expected occupancy dates to be published. But given the fast pace of construction in HK, I can't imagine it'll take more than 3 years to complete.
Thanks for the quick reply.

I was actually walking close to the site last weekend. Looked through the construction fences (of what I think was the construction site) and noticed that not much work has yet started. Seems they haven't even started with the foundation yet.

Perhaps they plan to open it just before/after the completion of the high speed rail link station in 2015?

It does look like the views from The Hermitage will be partially blocked by this project and the Sinoland project (The Heritage?).
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Old May 20th, 2011, 06:42 PM   #9
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Even if the towers finish before the HSR opens, I'm quite certain the developer will price it as if the HSR is already up and running. The site is quite far from The Heritage, so I doubt the view will be significantly blocked.

Taken on 5/8 by 3ASV196 from a Hong Kong discussion forum :

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Old June 27th, 2011, 06:19 PM   #10
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Source : http://www.fotop.net/dreamer/

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Old June 28th, 2011, 04:23 AM   #11
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About how many stories will this project be?
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Old June 28th, 2011, 05:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Munwon View Post
About how many stories will this project be?
Height info has not yet been released, but given the GFA they'll be fairly tall.
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Old September 7th, 2011, 12:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Height info has not yet been released, but given the GFA they'll be fairly tall.
It will be max. 98m tall for Site C and 116m for Site D.

Ref: Page 6
http://www.info.gov.hk/tpb/en/meetin.../m417mpc_e.pdf
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Old September 9th, 2011, 02:47 AM   #14
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The blocks will be something like these:

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Old September 9th, 2011, 04:47 AM   #15
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Ah ... they look quite short!
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Old September 9th, 2011, 06:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Ah ... they look quite short!
I don't understand why the planning/zoning in this area is so low. It makes sense to have higher plot ratios, especially with all the infrastructure in the area now (MTR, X-boundary, highways etc.).

Really wish that they have the foresight to turn this into a new CBD... Rather than just another cloned residential area with no soul =(
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Old September 9th, 2011, 08:34 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pookgai View Post
I don't understand why the planning/zoning in this area is so low. It makes sense to have higher plot ratios, especially with all the infrastructure in the area now (MTR, X-boundary, highways etc.).

Really wish that they have the foresight to turn this into a new CBD... Rather than just another cloned residential area with no soul =(
There is a new standard adopted in recent years to avoid buildngs blocking the view of the Kowloon hills at various view points from HK Island. That's why both property developments of West Kowloon Terminus and Austin Station are that "short".

You need also to consider whether the road network can afford more traffic arisen from higher plot ratios. Under the existing scale, the road network is already forseen very congest with sometimes below acceptable level according to study.

For me it is a good move. It's nice not to have no more horrible supertalls like Kowloon Station's with no style at all. Hate that mess of very tall buildings putting together with horrible podiums.

See another photo below:

http://www.wkcda.hk/pe2/en/conceptua...model-500f.jpg

Last edited by gakei; September 9th, 2011 at 08:40 PM.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 02:39 PM   #18
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4/15

image hosted on flickr

sky100_5691 by Tequilazu, on Flickr
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Old April 28th, 2013, 07:26 PM   #19
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By Kilgore Trout from this thread on SSP :

4/25

image hosted on flickr

IMG_1616 by christopher dewolf | urbanphoto.net, on Flickr
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Old May 30th, 2013, 07:53 PM   #20
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5/18















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