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Old January 13th, 2016, 08:54 AM   #2001
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Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Developers 'tend to delay projects' amid land crunch
China Daily Asia Excerpt

Land shortage in Hong Kong might have prompted real estate developers to delay the launch of large-scale multi-purpose projects, real estate experts said.

A University of Hong Kong study released on Tuesday shed light on how real estate developers deal with comprehensive development areas, which offer flexibility on the designation of uses by developers.

Mixed-use developments atop commuter rail depots and stations, as well as private housing estates built in formerly rural areas like the Double Cove in Ma On Shan are mostly CDAs.

The government-sponsored study tracked 355 CDA applications initiated between 1990 and 2014 and found out only 65 have been completed. They altogether accounted for 102,313 flats, or 17 percent of all new homes rolled out in the period.

One of the projects is still under the construction 23 years after application. Thirty-two others took 15 years or longer to complete.

A 2005 overhaul of the vetting mechanism brought in public engagement, but the research team ruled out the procedure as a stalling factor as three post-2005 applications were cleared expeditiously.

Chau Kwong-wing, chair professor of the Ronald Coase Centre for Property Rights Research at the HKU, explained that there are many factors contributing to the slow progress of CDAs - developers might have wanted to catch up with shifting demands, or they needed extra time to assemble ownership.

The team concluded in the report that there is no direct evidence of hoarding - but “it is hard to dispel any accusation of procrastination to optimize sales performance”.

Developers with projects in areas where land reserve is abundant, Chau said, usually make every effort to ensure they are first to tap the demand for new homes in their neighborhood.

But in Hong Kong, landlords do have the incentive to wait for an optimal timing to monetize their scarce assets.

There are currently 446 hectares of undeveloped CADs, many of them in the New Territories.

"The lack of land supply means developers would not mind rolling out their projects slowly," the academic said.
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Old January 18th, 2016, 04:15 PM   #2002
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Lantau: The next big chance to build a new HK town
18 January 2016
South China Morning Post Excerpt


Shatin by Pingz Man, on Flickr

The release of a development report provides new chances, provided consensus can be reached

I live in one of Hong Kong's satellite towns - Sha Tin in New Territories East - a place with fresher air and all the conveniences. Thanks to our efficient public transportation system, it's never much trouble commuting between home and my office in Causeway Bay.

Over the years, I have often heard stories about how deserted Sha Tin once was. But now it is one of the most developed of the city's 18 districts, and one of the most populated with more than 630,000 residents living in an area of 35 sq km.

Sha Tin is a success story in Hong Kong's new town development, which started in the mid-70s during British rule. One major purpose for Sha Tin's development was to build enough housing for the growing population.

The "new town" concept later became the "Hong Kong model", which not only proved to be a way out for housing needs but also for boosting economic activity. However, no brand new "new town" project has been launched since the handover, mainly due to difficulties in finding a big enough area.

It is therefore encouraging to see that the government-appointed Lantau Development Advisory Committee has released its very first report, suggesting that the biggest island should be turned into the next new commercial hub, as well as a major tourism and recreation attraction.

In today's political atmosphere, nothing is likely to go ahead smoothly without dissent. The Lantau development plan is no exception. It immediately drew criticism from environmentalists who consider turning a tranquil island into a noisy business centre to be unacceptable.

To be realistic, Lantau is not at all an isolated island without any development. It houses one of the world's busiest airports and has one of the city's two major theme parks - Disneyland.

Hongkongers of course appreciate very much that the island's rich natural and cultural resources need to be preserved properly. While striking a fine balance between development and environmental protection can be a never-ending debate, it is the government's responsibility to take new initiatives for Hong Kong's future development.

Thus the timing and way this study was released are telling, The report was made public two days ahead of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's policy address, apparently in a clear signal to build up momentum for Lantau development.

Yet strangely, the report was quietly put online on the committee's website without any official announcement or press conference. It caught media attention only after Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po posted an article in his blog mentioning the publication.

Was such a discreet way of making the report public aimed at avoiding unnecessary controversy before Leung's policy address or stealing Leung's thunder? Whatever it could be, the government may have no better choice for new town development.
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Old January 27th, 2016, 03:23 PM   #2003
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New World wins race to build small units
The Standard Excerpt
Jan. 27, 2016





New World Development (0017) has won the tender for an Urban Renewal Authority project in Ma Tau Kok.

Located at the junction of Kowloon City and Sheung Heung roads, the site, covering 1,384 square meters with a buildable area of about 111,730 square feet, is to provide 216 units upon completion.

Of the residential units, half should be under 480 sq ft, but the smallest cannot go below 260 sq ft.

There is also up to 22,346 sq ft of retail space. The project is expected to be completed in 2021.

Altogether eight bids were received in December.

Among the bidders were Sino Land (0083), Emperor International (0163), CK Property (1113), Far East Consortium (0035) and a joint venture between Paliburg (0617) and Regal Hotels International (0078).

Market estimates of the site's valuation vary between HK$740 million and HK$1.3 billion.

While the site is close to the Sha Tin to Central Link, it is also located next to a market that may be a source of noise pollution.

It has been said that if sales go above HK$1.92 billion, part of the profits will be shared with the URA.
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Old January 28th, 2016, 05:58 PM   #2004
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Importing workers crucial to Hong Kong's competitiveness
26 January 2016
China Daily Excerpt

As a trade association representing the main contractors in the construction sector, the Hong Kong Construction Association (HKCA) welcomes the long-awaited announcement by the SAR government in the 2016 Policy Address to speed up the importation of foreign construction workers.

It has been an undeniable fact that over the past several years the supply of local construction workers has fallen short of demand by as much as 10,000 to 15,000. As a result of the shortage of skilled workers, a decline in overall productivity, persistent market volatility and other unwanted factors, many construction projects in the city have been delayed while the cost of construction has escalated to a level among the highest in the world. Based on the results of the regular biannual survey conducted among HKCA members since 2012, Hong Kong needs an additional 12-16 percent more workers to meet the needs of all the ongoing construction projects in the city.

The current problem of a shortage of skilled workers and an aging construction workforce is attributable to the continued decline in construction volume during the period between 1999 and 2008. This long period of low project volume forced many capable and skilled tradesmen to change jobs and leave the industry before its recent upturn. Now that more than 40 percent of our registered construction workers are aged over 50, one can reasonably expect that overall construction manpower could decline sharply over the next few years. To maintain the vitality and sustainability of the industry, we need to find ways and be prepared to replenish its manpower to readily fill the gap when a potentially large number of tradesmen spend less time working or leave the industry altogether for retirement.

Local workers are always preferred because of their skills and understanding of local practices. Since 2010, stakeholders in the industry have worked together and actively recruited locals to join the construction workforce. Despite this and numerous training incentives, wage increases and "hire-first and train-later" schemes having been offered to local young people, only 15,000 new workers joined and completed industry training in the past four years. It is high time Hong Kong accepted the fact that very few local young people will be attracted to develop careers as construction workers.

With many committed projects to be finished, we need temporary relief of manpower from alternate sources. This relief is also needed to provide some breathing space for the overstressed labor market and make room for freshly trained new local workers to acquire enough skills rather than pressuring them with too heavy a workload.
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Old January 29th, 2016, 09:15 AM   #2005
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Sha Tin is one of my favorite parts of Hong Kong. I love walking on the bikeway along the river and I love how peaceful the place is. That being said, I hope Lantau doesn't get too developed. It really is a little piece of quiet paradise in an otherwise crowed city and I'd hate for it to become all built up.
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Old January 29th, 2016, 07:12 PM   #2006
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Tung Chung Citygate

DSC_5923+24+25 by Kar Wah Tam, on Flickr
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Old February 3rd, 2016, 01:36 PM   #2007
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Feb 3, 2016
Hong Kong Economic Journal Excerpt
Why Chinese developers are seeking to expand in HK

Hongkongers may be wary of many things associated with China, but they have no choice really but to accept the growing influence of mainland entities in the city.

After grappling with various things in recent years, locals may soon find that they’ll have to deal with the Chinese even when making one of the biggest decisions in life — buying a home.

A number of mainland developers were among 24 firms that have submitted letters of intent to develop a site in Tseung Kwan O. The list includes Vanke (02202.HK) and China Overseas Land & Investment (00688.HK).

Despite the recent cooling of the property market, a senior executive of Vanke told Hong Kong Commercial Daily they are not worried about the project’s prospects.

Mainland firms’ involvement in local property development is not new, but their presence is getting more noticeable.

While demand from Chinese buyers for local residential properties has abated since the introduction of a number of restrictive policies in 2012, mainland developers’ interest has however been on the rise, property consultant JLL said in a report.

“In 2015, mainland developers bid on over half of all residential land sales tendered by the government, winning about 25 percent of awarded tenders,” elbowing aside entrenched Hong Kong developers, the report noted.

Mainland bidders also tended to be more aggressive. Their bid prices exceeded market expectations in 73 percent of cases between 2013 and 2105, compared with 59 percent for local real estate firms, the JLL report pointed out.

Falling margins in their home turf, a desire to lift their brand image and the plan to use Hong Kong as a springboard for overseas expansion are some of the possible reasons behind their growing participation in the local market.
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Old February 4th, 2016, 05:27 AM   #2008
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Hong Kong Economic Journal Excerpt
Feb 3, 2016
Mega projects that will change how you look at Hong Kong



More than the city’s magnificent urban skyline, Hongkongers can take pride in some of its ongoing mega projects, which are engineering marvels and shining examples of planning and design.

World-class infrastructure is one of the city’s key advantages, and a fundamental factor to its continued success.

For four years running, Hong Kong remains on top of an infrastructure ranking of 144 economies worldwide by the World Economic Forum, and is the world’s seventh most competitive economy overall.

The government aims to invest HK$70 billion per annum in infrastructure, but other than its long list of housing and transport programs, there are other projects that, although barely coming into public attention at the moment, can send the city to the top of the scoreboard of quality and green living once completed.

Here are some of them:

Green piazza in Hung Hom

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University has been lobbying the government for its bold concept plan to reinvent Hung Hom where its main campus lies: to build a giant green deck, a city balcony, above one of the most severe pollution black spots in town, the Cross Harbor Tunnel toll plaza, which sees 120,000 vehicles passing through on any given day.

The HK$5 billion plan aims to tackle all the problems – worsening air pollution, urban heat island, overloaded footbridge, fragmented connectivity and a lack of open space – with just one solution.

Linking the MTR Hung Hom Station podium and PolyU campus, the proposed multifunctional deck will have three storeys – original traffic lanes of the tunnel and toll plaza on the ground level, a mezzanine floor for air filtration systems as well as air-conditioned walkways and pedestrian access connecting PolyU campus, Hung Hom station and East Tsim Sha Tsui, and a 43,000 square meter top deck, roughly twice the size of the Southorn Playground in Wan Chai, that runs from the harborfront along the Hong Kong Coliseum to the northern end of the Hong Hum station podium.

The deck will serve as an “urban oasis” featuring verdant greenery, an amphitheater, a sports complex, a reflection pool and a cycling track.

Who would not want our city to have this spacious, “floating” scenic boulevard cum piazza right in the heart of the heavily built-up urban area?

For a glimpse of how the concept will come into fruition, PolyU is currently staging an exhibition of its proposal until end-February at its Inno Tower.

Giant reservoir beneath Happy Valley racecourse

Not many horseracing fans may know that the Happy Valley Racecourse has been partially excavated underneath.

A HK$1.07 billion, 60,000 cubic meter reservoir, equaling the combined size of 24 standard swimming pools, is being built some 15 meters below the city’s 170-year-old racecourse. The first phase was finished last year.

The rationale for such an underground reservoir is that Happy Valley and parts of Causeway Bay and Wan Chai, some of Hong Kong’s most affluent residential neighborhoods, are particularly prone to severe flooding when the area encroaches upon the cliffy hillside.

Residents still have vivid memories of the huge flood that submerged almost the entire district, as well as the racecourse, in June 2008 when Hong Kong was hit by one of the worst black rainstorms in history.

The Drainage Services Department figured that the racecourse, being the lowest spot in the area, could be an ideal site for a flood reservoir, considering that expanding existing drainage systems is restrained by narrow roads and congested underground utilities.

The tank will store stormwater from upstream catchment during heavy rainstorms to reduce the peak flow through the downstream drainage systems.

Upon full completion in 2018, the drainage systems in Happy Valley can withstand a rainstorm with an intensity of a 50-year return period.

The reservoir lies beneath the playground encompassed by the race track. To minimize disruptions to racing events and other activities like Happy Wednesday, the work must be carefully synchronized with racing programs.

A ball-picking hotline, for instance, has been set up for pitch players who accidentally kick balls into the work sites, so as to prevent them from trespassing unsafe areas, writes development secretary Paul Chan Mo-po in his blog.

Also, a HK$3 billion, 11-kilometer tunnel running from Causeway Bay to Cyberport in Pok Fu Lam with 34 intakes along the way was finished in 2012. The drainage tunnel is the longest of its kind in Hong Kong, almost as long as the MTR’s Tseung Kwan O Line. It intercepts stormwater from Mid-Levels and discharges it directly into the sea.

“The sewer is the conscience of the city,” said Victor Hugo. When mainland cities like Beijing may be easily inundated after just a thunderstorm, Hongkongers should congratulate themselves for living in a city that constantly builds on its own “conscience”.
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Old February 6th, 2016, 06:50 AM   #2009
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The Standard Excerpt
Winner of Tai Po site faces court fight to fell trees, say greens
Feb. 5, 2016





Tenders for a piece of greenbelt land in Ta Po close today, but an environmental group has warned the successful bidder may still have to appear in court before one tree is felled.

The 405,760-square-foot plot on Shan Tong Road, Lai Chi Shan, can accommodate 1,700 luxury flats on a gross floor area of 1.15 million square feet.

Hong Kong Institute of Education student Yau Ka-po, 21, and environmental group Green Sense failed last week to get a court injunction to stop the Lands Department from opening the bids.

However, they are now waiting for the ruling on a judicial review filed to stop the government from selling and rezoning Shan Tong Road.

Green Sense president Roy Tam Hoi- pong warned that if the successful bidder decided to cut down any tree on the greenbelt site, they must notify the court within a reasonable period of time.

Quoting part of the High Court's ruling, Tam explained that no developer is allowed to cut down any tree with a diameter of 95 millimeters or larger without first informing the court.

Tam said it was regrettable the court had decided an emergency situation only arises when trees are being cut down.
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Old February 8th, 2016, 08:04 PM   #2010
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Anyone know what is coming up next to the Harbour Grand on Oil Street?

(52) by Shireeen, on Flickr
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Old February 16th, 2016, 04:23 PM   #2011
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Lands Department accepts low offer for Tai Po site
13 February 2016
South China Morning Post Excerpt



A residential site in Tai Po in the New territories sold for a surprisingly low HK$1,848 per square foot, providing further evidence the government is willing to accept lower land premiums to speed up land sales in the city's struggling property market.

The Lands Department said yesterday the tender for the site at Shan Tong Road, Lai Chi Shan was awarded to Asia Metro Investment, a unit of the mainland's China Overseas Land & Investment for the highest bid of HK$2.13 billion.

"I think most surveyors couldn't believe their eyes after reading the sales outcome," said Victor Lai Kin-fai, the chief executive of consultancy Centaline Professionals.

The price means land values have dropped 59.5 per cent in the five months after the Lands Department sold another residential site in Pak Shek Kok, Tai Po, for HK$4,567 per square foot in September.

In 2009, another Pak Shek Kok site sold for a record HK$7,284 per square foot.

Yesterday's sale outcome was also 42 per cent below Centaline's already lowered estimate of HK$3.68 billion after the previous disappointing land sale.
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Old February 17th, 2016, 09:24 AM   #2012
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One Bay East


Wheelock cautious over second half
21 August 2015
The Standard Excerpt

Wheelock Group (0020) said first half underlying profit jumped 78.43 percent to HK$6.33 billion thanks to property sales.

The period saw profit of HK$9.93 billion from commercial blocks One Bay East in Kowloon Bay and robust rental revenue. Interim net profit, after adjustments in property fair value, rose 4.31 percent to HK$8 billion.

Chairman Douglas Woo Chun-kuen said he would not rush out more projects ahead of the looming US interest rate hike.

He maintains a cautious look on the property market in the second half due also to high construction costs.

Earnings per share amounted to HK$3.94. Interim dividend of 42.5 HK cents was declared, up 10.39 percent from 38.5 HK cents a year ago.
IMG_7222 by KaguraYanki, on Flickr
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Old February 23rd, 2016, 12:11 AM   #2013
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hello i have a question:
where are the tall high rises projects and constructions in HK ?
shenzhen shanghai and every chinese big cities have a lot of high rises in construction and in project but nothing in HK ?
why ? can you explain ? thanks
are every projects on hold or cancelled in HK ?
because since the International Commerce Centre inaugurated 6 years ago, nothing high is planned or coming in HK ?????
why ????
where are the 500/ 600 meters tall projects for HK ? OR more higher ?
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Old February 24th, 2016, 01:44 AM   #2014
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ok i don't need an answer ! because i know why !
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Old February 25th, 2016, 04:17 PM   #2015
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101-111 Wan Chai Road Redevelopment
明德大廈
25/f U/C

2016-02-10 14.17.40 by albyantoniazzi, on Flickr

More project information in Chinese : http://ps.hket.com/content/207354
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Old February 26th, 2016, 05:08 PM   #2016
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HK$8.2b hub to capitalise on 'new economic order'
26 February 2016
South China Morning Post Excerpt

A HK$8.2 billion smart production hub is being planned in Tseung Kwan O under a package of initiatives aimed at allowing Hong Kong to capitalise on the "new economic order", the IT minister said.

Secretary for Innovation and Technology Professor Nicholas Yang Wei-hsiung said he hoped to recreate Hong Kong as a smart city, but merely copying the development model of Silicon Valley would not suit the SAR.

Yang and IT officials were elaborating yesterday on new initiatives announced by Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah in Wednesday's budget.

Yang highlighted the HK$8.2 billion project to build a complex in the existing Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate to promote smart production and research.

The government would also subsidise small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) under a HK$500 million pilot scheme to encourage them to apply more IT solutions to upgrade their services and productivity, Yang said.
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Old February 27th, 2016, 10:08 AM   #2017
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Holiday Inn Express Mongkok
http://www.ihg.com/holidayinnexpress...mk/hoteldetail

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Old February 27th, 2016, 08:59 PM   #2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
101-111 Wan Chai Road Redevelopment
明德大廈
25/f U/C

2016-02-10 14.17.40 by albyantoniazzi, on Flickr

More project information in Chinese : http://ps.hket.com/content/207354
with a plan to hide all the air conditioners, Hong Kong could make a great change on the image of the city
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Old February 28th, 2016, 04:07 AM   #2019
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The new buildings have the A/C units in more uniform bays outside so they look a bit better.
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Old March 3rd, 2016, 02:35 PM   #2020
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Hong Kong luxury property market boost as site in Ho Man Tin sells for HK$6.38 billion, at high end of analysts forecasts
2 March 2016
South China Morning Post Excerpt







A luxury site in Ho Man Tin has been sold for HK$6.38 billion, towards the upper end of analysts' forecasts.

The Lands Department announced on Wednesday that the tender for a site at Sheung Shing Street, Ho Man Tin, had been awarded to Goldin Financial. The Hong Kong-listed developer, with properties mainly in mainland China, beat out 12 large and small Hong Kong and mainland developers, including Sun Hung Kai Properties, Henderson Land Development and Shimao Property.

“It is a good sign for the luxury sector in the district, and the price tag indicates the winning developer's confidence in the market,” said Thomas Lam, head of valuation and consultancy at Knight Frank. He had predicted the site would fetch between HK$5.3 billion and HK$6.5 billion.

Total investment cost of the 97,700 sq ft site, which will provide a total floor area of 586,000 sq ft, is expected to exceed HK$10 billion. Units at the project could sell for more than HK$20,000 per square foot, Lam said.
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