daily menu » rate the banner | guess the city | one on oneforums map | privacy policy | DMCA | news magazine | posting guidelines

Go Back   SkyscraperCity > World Development News Forums > City/Metro Compilations

City/Metro Compilations Help report active highrise/urban developments occurring in your city to the global SSC community.



Global Announcement

As a general reminder, please respect others and respect copyrights. Go here to familiarize yourself with our posting policy.


Reply

 
Thread Tools
Old November 26th, 2009, 05:20 PM   #901
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,508
Likes (Received): 17836

Developers targeting old buildings
7 October 2009
SCMP

Developers are aggressively hunting for old buildings to redevelop and that means more and more of the quaint old shops that give Hong Kong its unique architectural heritage are disappearing from the streetscape.

Fifty years ago, Victor Sin Ho-yuen's father opened a small trading shop called Yat Lee Oil and Soy Sauce Shop. Ten years later, he bought another shop and then owned two shops at 42 and 44 Haven Street in Causeway Bay.

But now the shop at 44 Haven Street has been bought by a developer and shut down pending its redevelopment because Sin lost his bid at the Lands Tribunal to oppose a redevelopment buyout accepted by the majority of owners in the building in which the shop was located.

"Three years ago the developer [Soundwill Holdings] offered HK$15 million to buy our shop at 44 Haven Street. But that would not have been enough for us to buy another shop somewhere else in Causeway Bay, so we turned it down," said Sin.

"Our family has lived and done business in this district for 50 years. We want to stay here."

However, the flat owners in the building in which Sin's shop was located agreed to the developer's general offer.

Their acceptances were sufficient to trigger the Land [Compulsory Sales for Redevelopment] Ordinance, opening the way for a compulsory takeover of all the units since the developer had secured the nod of more than 90 per cent of the owners in the building.

Sin then hired property experts and lawyers to argue a case before the tribunal that the building was still in good condition and therefore did not qualify under the ordinance as a target for compulsory acquisition for the purpose of redevelopment.

But the Lands Tribunal dismissed the argument and approved the compulsory sale. Sin was also ordered to pay costs.

"It cost me more than HK$2 million. Not many flat owners could afford the cost of opposing developers. The system is unfair to individual owners," said Sin, who was forced as a result of rejecting the developer's offer to accept a court-ordered valuation of just HK$8.5 million for his 1,200 square foot shop when the developer moved to compulsory acquisition of the building at the auction that followed.

His other shop along with a flat at 42 Haven Street is now also the target of the same developer.

For the moment the developer has not been able to move to compulsory acquisition since it has only secured agreement from 80 per cent of the owners in the second building.

The Denmark Cake Shop, located for the past 30 years on the ground floor of Lei Shun Court in Leighton Road, is facing the same challenge to its continued existence.

Richfield Realty and Centaline Property Agency are bidding for appointments to secure sales agreements from owners in the building.

"More and more of Hong Kong's old shops are disappearing in the city as urban redevelopment has speeded up in recent years," a surveyor said.

Professional Property Services Group chairman Nicholas Brooke said redevelopment inevitably brought in its wake disruption and the need for owners to relocate.

"That's why we need to consider the option and alternative of regeneration and revitalisation wherever possible on a district or precinct basis," he said. "The focus under this scenario should be refurbishment and renovation and should neither change the character of the area nor mean the loss of the old shops."

Brooke said this would require the creation of a financial or funding model that helped owners through loans, grants and dollar-matching initiatives.

"It will also require a change of mindset by the government, the Urban Renewal Authority and the development community. But the pressure is there for such change."

Kim Chan, a vice-president at Hong Kong Institute of Planners, echoed these sentiments. "We can't save every old shop, otherwise Hong Kong will become an old town. But the government should make more effort.

"It should identify which street and which area in which district should retain their unique character."

In Wong Tai Sin, metals businessman Chan Kam-man wanted to sell his old flat and teamed up with other owners to appoint surveyors to prepare an offer for a developer to buy out their units in four buildings on Po Kong Lane in 2006.

"Our buildings do not have lifts, which meant it is inconvenient for the elderly. My 80-year-old mother has knee problems so she had to move out. I want to sell my flat and buy one in a newer building to live with her," Chan said.

"Most of the flat owners are more than 60 years old. We want to sell our old flats and buy new ones to improve our living environment and prepare for the future."

According to the tender offer prepared by the owners, Chan could sell his unit for up to HK$7 million, a much higher price than he could achieve through an individual sale in the secondary market. However, his dream has not materialised.

The estate comprises four 44- to 45-year-old buildings.

While 90 per cent of owners at three of the buildings have agreed to sell, just 80 per cent of the owners in the fourth building have so far agreed. The rest are looking for a higher offer from another developer.

"While we were negotiating with the other flat owners to agree to sell, the government imposed building height restrictions on our site and the developer immediately lost interest," Chan said.

"Now we are back to selling our units in the secondary market, but our building is old. It takes time to find buyers. If the government lowered the threshold to trigger compulsory acquisitions a few years ago, we might have already sold our units."

Opinions on the threshold differ, but Brooke believes the present requirement that developers must secure agreement to sell from 90 per cent of owners is too high.

"The present threshold is restrictive and thwarts many genuine attempts by owners and developers to redevelop properties which are well past their working life and which do not merit retention on heritage and other grounds," he said.

"Essentially, it means that the proponents often find themselves having to pay what is in effect a ransom price to reach 90 per cent."
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links
Old November 29th, 2009, 07:26 PM   #902
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,508
Likes (Received): 17836

New home loans seen nearing 1997 peak
Mortgage broker tips 19pc jump to HK$238b

28 November 2009
South China Morning Post

Mortgage brokers expect new home loans to reach HK$238 billion next year, a 19 per cent increase on this year and the highest since the HK$256 billion at the market peak in 1997.

New home loans reached HK$159 billion in the first 10 months of this year, according to a survey by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

Sharmaine Lau Yuen-yuen, the chief economic analyst at mortgage broker mReferral, said yesterday the firm expected total new home loans drawn down to reach HK$200 billion by the end of the year, which would be 8.2 per cent higher than the HK$185 billion last year.

However, the number of new home loans is expected to fall 1.25 per cent to about 94,000 this year, compared with 95,189 last year.

The home loan market has benefited from the record-low mortgage rate and the booming property market this year, and Lau expected the situation to continue next year.

Average property prices in the secondary market have surged 27 per cent to HK$4,313 per square foot so far this year as the market has recorded more than 10,000 transactions a month in the last six months.

As the demand for residential property remained strong, Lau said the average property price was expected to rise a further eight per cent next year. She expected total new home loans to increase 19 per cent, while transactions should rise 6.4 per cent to about 100,000.

"The mortgage business is profitable with lower investment risk, which is attractive to the banks," she said. "We saw many banks become active in this area after the outbreak of the global financial crisis in September last year. I think the banks will continue to be active in this market."

However, she did not think the banks would lower mortgage rates any further.

The mReferral effective rate, the average mortgage rate approved by the broker, fell to 1.699 per cent last month, the lowest since it began in 1990.

Many banks have released new mortgage plans based on the Hong Kong interbank offered rate (Hibor) this year. The effective mortgage rate of Hibor-based mortgages could be even less than one per cent.

"The mortgage rate is close to the bottom. I don't think the banks would cut the mortgage rate further. The banks have to make a profit," Lau said.

She expected the rate to stay at the current level next year.

Mainlanders were a lot more active in the Hong Kong property market this year. The firm estimated a 50 per cent increase in mainland clients who bought luxury homes worth HK$10 million or above and applied for mortgages in the first three quarters.

About 21.5 per cent of mortgage clients who bought luxury homes worth HK$10 million or above were mainlanders in September.

Lau expected the mainlanders to remain active in the Hong Kong market next year, although growth would likely slow.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old November 30th, 2009, 05:15 PM   #903
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,508
Likes (Received): 17836

Two Tai Po waterfront sites to go on the block
Luxury residential land may fetch HK$12.4b in December sale

19 November 2009
South China Morning Post

Two luxury residential sites on the Tai Po waterfront were triggered for auction yesterday - the first large-scale land sale in two years.

Surveyors estimated the sites might fetch up to HK$12.4 billion, giving a residential floor area of HK$9,000 per square foot.

The price per square foot would be 38 per cent higher than that for two nearby sites sold to a consortium led by Sino Land in 2007.

The Lands Department yesterday announced that the government had accepted the applicants' minimum guaranteed bid of HK$7.208 billion or HK$4,995 per square foot for the two sites.

Sino Land, Nan Fung Development, KWah International Holdings, Henderson Land Development and Sun Hung Kai Properties have denied responsibility for triggering the sale.

The sites, next to the Science Park and Sino Land's residential project, will be the first to be put up for auction this financial year when they come to market on December 28. They are also the first large-scale development sites up for auction since a residential site in Wong Chuk Hang was sold in October 2007.

Each site has an area of 2.1 hectares. Developers can build low-density residential buildings with a total gross floor area of 720,757 square feet on each site.

No large-scale sites have been triggered for sale in the past two years and only small sites in the New Territories have been sold.

Developers have turned up their noses at the government's land application list over the past two years, urging the government to lower the threshold for triggering sales from the list.

The sudden action by the developer that triggered the latest auction might be related to a meeting between developers and Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah last month, said Charles Chan Chiu-kwok, the managing director of Savills.

"The government may resume regular land auctions if property prices continue to rise sharply, but developers don't want this," he said. "It saves them from regular auctions if sites are triggered for sale."

With the minimum bids for the Tai Po waterfront sites at HK$4,995 per square foot, this signals that the government has estimated them to be at least HK$6,200 per square foot.

Under the application list system, a developer can trigger an auction by making a bid that is at least 80 per cent of a site's government-set reserve price.

In 2007, the consortium led by Sino Land bought three sites next to the Tai Po sites for HK$10.16 billion.

Two of the sites on the waterfront were sold for HK$6,109 to HK$6,368 per square foot.

Knight Frank executive director Alnwick Chan Chi-hing believes the latest two sites could fetch HK$9,000 per square foot as luxury residential prices have risen sharply in the past two years.

"Property prices for Sino Land's project [that was sold in 2007] can fetch HK$15,000 per square foot if it is launched in the market now," he said.

Charles Chan believes the winning bidders of the sites would develop houses and low-rise buildings to maximise profit.

"Prices of the houses can reach as much as HK$18,000 per square foot, while apartments can fetch up to HK$12,000," he said.

Midland Realty data shows the average price of flats in the area was HK$7,500 per square foot, while that of houses was HK$18,000.

Sales in the luxury residential market fell significantly after the world record-breaking transaction at Henderson's 39 Conduit Road in Mid-Levels West at the end of last month.

The auctions of the two Tai Po sites were expected to spark another increase in transactions and prices in the luxury housing market if land prices in the sector met or exceeded expectations within the market, Charles Chan said.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old December 2nd, 2009, 04:08 PM   #904
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,508
Likes (Received): 17836

Neutral on flat area curbs
The Standard
Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Developers feel the government is using the Council for Sustainable Development as a tool to advance its agenda of curbing gross floor area inflation.

And the council is aware of this perception, chairman Bernard Charnwut Chan said.

The council has been asked to advise the Development Bureau on revamping exemption regulations.

Both Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen and Secretary for Development Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor have expressed reservations about developers' misuse of bonus floor area, given to them to incorporate "green features," by often using it to artificially inflate flat sizes.

In an interview with Sing Tao Daily, The Standard's sister publication, Chan admitted he was aware of allegations that the government already has preconceived ideas on the matter and is only seeking public support through the council's consultation, launched in June.

"It's better to say from the start we agree to this [regulation review]," Chan said. "If it's a manipulation, so be it."

The Real Estate Developers' Association of Hong Kong and the Business Facilitation Advisory Committee hold that the inflation issue has been exaggerated.

But the council as a whole - including Cheung Kong (0001) deputy chairman Victor Li Tzar-kuoi - is favorably disposed toward the review, Chan said. He stressed that the council neither has a definite stance nor has been "pressured" by the government. The major concern is time as the authorities do not want the issue to drag on, he added.

Initial results from the four-month public consultation show a preference for limiting exemptions, Chan said.

But the limits are not of a single standard as that would stifle the flexibility of building design. "If you force them [developers] to do it, they for sure can do it," Chan said. "But will there be any costs, and what costs?"

Unless the public supports similar capping percentages with regard to the total development floor area, the council may not be able to make a "numerical" suggestion to the government, Chan said.

The Institute of Architects last month said the cap should be 12 percent.

The council will present public opinion collected from over 60 forums in a report to the government by mid-2010.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old December 3rd, 2009, 08:58 AM   #905
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,508
Likes (Received): 17836

Any plan for more open space is a good idea
3 December 2009
South China Morning Post

Hong Kong's major developers have our interests at heart. At least the Real Estate Developers Association tells us so. Simply making developers provide environmental features in buildings, as the government is proposing to do, is "too simplistic", it says. The real solution, the association says, is to sell less urban land for development and instead create more open spaces.

It wants the government to withdraw most land sites set for sale in urban areas. Instead, the government should focus on selling sites in the New Territories and new districts. That way, more parks and other public space would become available in urban areas, according to the association. Doubtless we would all benefit from being less walled in. But some of us might benefit more. Our leading developers already own valuable land and property in places such as North Point and Hung Hom, so withdrawing site sales from those districts would just make what they already own even more valuable.

The association's outburst of public spiritedness was prompted by the government's consultation on whether it should continue a policy of encouraging developers to provide environmental features in buildings in exchange for bonus floor area without being charged a premium. It objects to a proposal to scrap the green concessions while making the provision of green features mandatory. It's not true, the association argues, that they get so much extra space that they end up building wall-like estates that block sunlight and air flow, and cause traffic jams. Green concessions did not make them build those unsightly giant estates, they say, and it's hard to disagree. Policies only encourage behaviour; the ultimate responsibility lies with developers. Scrapping concessions while making green features mandatory would eat into potential profits for developers sitting on undeveloped land. So their altruism also begins at home.

That's not to say we shouldn't listen to what they say. If we don't need the land revenue, perhaps it would be worthwhile - even if some people win more than others - if we can get developers to stop walling us in with giant concrete blocks and get more open space.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old December 3rd, 2009, 05:03 PM   #906
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,508
Likes (Received): 17836

Draft bill on green buildings 'too lenient'
3 December 2009
South China Morning Post

As lawmakers prepare to discuss a bill that obliges most new buildings to save energy, a green group says the proposals cannot reduce pollution.

The Buildings Energy Efficiency Bill will cover commercial, educational, medical and government buildings, railway stations and the common areas of residential and industrial buildings. There will be exceptions for places that have to be brightly lit - such as billiard halls and where factory machines run.

If it becomes law, the amount of electricity saved will be equivalent to that used by 70,000 households in a year and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 1.96 million tonnes.

The bill stipulated that key facilities such as air conditioning, lifts, escalators and lights should comply with specific energy efficiency standards, said Katharine Choi Man-yee, principal assistant secretary for the Environment Bureau.

For light, it requires that 17 watts of energy be used per square metre, which has been calculated to be bright enough in all circumstances. For air-conditioning, lifts and elevators, the bill requires a certain energy input to work output ratio.

But Hahn Chu Hon-keung, environmental affairs manager of Friends of the Earth, said the requirements were too lenient. He cited India, which set its light standard at 10.8 watts per square metre.

Buildings that have permission to be built on or before the day the bill is enacted should comply with the standards only when they undergo major retrofitting works, which are defined as works that cover one or more places with a floor area of at least 500 square metres under the same series of work within a year.

A government spokesman said: "We are not forcing people to make changes to their buildings now. But if the need to refit arises after it becomes law, they must conform to it."

Owners of commercial buildings and commercial units of composite buildings will have to conduct energy audits for the common area of their buildings every 10 years. Results should be displayed in a noticeable place at the main entrance.

Choi said construction costs should increase by 3 to 5 per cent, but electricity bills would be cut by 10 to 15 per cent.

The bill went through a three-month public consultation and meetings with major developers last year. It will be published in the Government Gazette tomorrow and tabled in the Legislative Council next Wednesday.

Similar energy efficiency standards are already in place on the mainland and in the US, Australia, Singapore and the European Union.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old December 6th, 2009, 06:54 PM   #907
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,508
Likes (Received): 17836

Speech by FS at HK Green Building Council Inaugural Ceremony cum Conference
Friday, November 20, 2009
Government Press Release
http://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/2...0911200117.htm

Following is the speech by the Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, at the Hong Kong Green Building Council Inaugural Ceremony cum Conference at Conrad Hong Kong this morning (November 20):

Andrew (Chan) (Chairman, Hong Kong Green Building Council), Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning.

It is indeed my great pleasure to join you for the launch of the Hong Kong Green Building Council. First of all, a warm welcome to you all, and especially to our guests from the Mainland and overseas. I am delighted that you are here to share with us this important occasion.

The HKGBC will be at the core of a coordinated approach to make our buildings more energy efficient, to reduce carbon emissions and to improve the environment.

In my Budget speech earlier this year, I announced the setting up of this Council. Through the determined efforts of the four founding members, namely the Construction Industry Council, the Business Environment Council, the Hong Kong BEAM Society and the Professional Green Building Council, the HKGBC became a reality.

My heartfelt thanks to all the founding members for their hard work.

The HKGBC includes representatives of the construction industry, academia and other professional sectors. It has a dedicated mission to promote the adoption of green building standards, and the construction of green buildings in Hong Kong. The Council will also raise public awareness about green buildings, and promote technological co-operation between Hong Kong and the rest of the world.

One of the key objectives of the Council is to provide a platform for stakeholders in green building construction to exchange ideas, technology and expertise. The Conference today will be an excellent start along the road to achieving the Council's goals for green building development.

I wish to take this opportunity to get the ball rolling with a few comments about the Government's role.

In considering works projects, we follow the guiding principle of "Progressive Development". In other words, particular emphasis is placed on sustainability as well as balanced and diversified growth that will enhance the quality of our life in this city.

This principle can be applied to existing buildings as well as new projects. Questions that we should ask include: Will the new building be sustainable? What design elements can achieve a "win-win" for building operators as well as users? And what will the life cycle costs be if we were to install energy-saving devices?

Building and maintaining energy efficient buildings is an important contribution towards emission reduction and tackling climate change. A report by the United States Energy Information Agency reveals that world marketed energy consumption is projected to increase by 50% between 2005 and 2030. This is a wake-up call to the pressing need for energy conservation. As a responsible member of our global village, we have to be accountable to our future generations in the use of scarce and valuable resources.

The Government here in Hong Kong is committed to reducing Hong Kong's energy intensity by at least 25% by 2030 compared to the 2005 levels. This is calculated as the ratio of the total primary energy supply to the GDP of a particular year. Because almost 90% of the energy is consumed by our buildings, improving energy efficiency, environmental friendliness and sustainability of buildings are particularly important. At home, work, school and in leisure activities, we all have a part to play.

Earlier this year, the Development Bureau and the Environment Bureau jointly set out a comprehensive target-based green performance framework for government buildings. The framework specifies guidelines on energy efficiency standards, greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy, waste reduction, water management as well as indoor air quality. The Government will lead by example in promoting green buildings in Hong Kong.

We will ensure that the design of new government buildings will go beyond the existing requirement set out under the Building Energy Codes issued by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD). Some Government buildings, such as the EMSD Headquarters at Kowloon Bay, have installed a photovoltaic panel system to harness solar energy.

The orientation of buildings to make use of natural light and ventilation can also help reduce energy use. The EMSD even has a free software tool on its website to help people assess the energy use and environmental impact of their buildings.

Given the importance of energy efficiency in building design, some "regulatory push" may help resolve any conflicting incentives for developers and building users. We have already conducted a public consultation on the proposed mandatory implementation of the Building Energy Codes. There was strong and positive support for the initiative from many professional bodies and the general public during this consultation exercise.

We aim to introduce a bill into the Legislative Council by the end of this year to enforce mandatory compliance with the Codes. I am sure that we can count on the support of the HKGBC in promoting the Codes.

Another initiative is to encourage carbon audits for buildings.

A low carbon economy is based on low energy consumption and low pollution. In last year's Policy Address, the Chief Executive announced that the Government will set an example by conducting a Carbon Audit of the new Central Government Complex which is being built at Tamar.

We strongly encourage users, owners and managers of buildings to measure the greenhouse gas emissions of their buildings. This will help identify ways to enhance energy efficiency and to reduce costs. I have already earmarked $450 million in the Budget this year for private building owners to conduct energy-cum-carbon audits and energy efficiency improvement projects.

So far, we have received more than 800 applications under the Buildings Energy Efficiency Funding Scheme. I encourage more people to take up this good opportunity.

The "Green concept" does not end with the completion of construction works. We need to maintain energy saving devices in good condition so that they will continue to work efficiently, and provide a good internal and external environment for buildings so that people can live and work in a more environmentally-friendly setting.

All new Government buildings will aim to achieve the "Excellent Class" rating under the Environmental Protection Department's Indoor Air Quality Certification Scheme.

Enhancing urban greenery is also critical to improving the quality of our living environment. In the past three years, we have planted a total of some 5 million trees. We will continue to implement the Greening Master Plan in urban areas. We will also work on developing and implementing the plan in the New Territories.

I am confident that a package of comprehensive measures, including those that I have just mentioned, will serve to enhance the internal and external environment of our buildings.

Allow me to return to basics in terms of existing buildings. The three "Rs": Restore, Reuse, and Revitalise are, in the majority of cases, the best way to make the most of the resources available and minimise waste.

In the past, demolishing old buildings to make way for new ones appeared to be the best way to accommodate our city's rapid growth. Massive infrastructure investment has contributed to the high-speed growth of Hong Kong over the past half a century.

These days, in line with the principle of "Progressive Development", we see new opportunities for the creative, innovative and more environmentally friendly use of our built heritage.

We are implementing a series of initiatives to encourage adaptive re-use of old buildings, including both Government and private properties. The first batch of Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme has been awarded to six very appealing projects. These include a boutique hotel and a world-class design and art school. We are rolling out the second batch of the Scheme, and we look forward to even more exciting projects.

"Conserving Central" is another initiative with enormous potential. Here we have identified landmark buildings and sites of historical interest for preservation and revitalisation. This includes converting Murray Building into a hotel and conserving Central Market. Other key sites include the Central Police Station Compound, Court of Final Appeal building and the original Central School site. Central has its own unique vibe where office workers mingle with shoppers, tourists and residents during the day. In the evenings, restaurants, cafes and night spots transform the character of Central.

By conserving Central, we hope to enhance the atmosphere and attract more people to enjoy the ambience of this area.

In revitalising these old buildings, we will also take the chance and think creatively on how to implement energy-saving measures. Garden rooftops, and vertical greening may provide better insulation for buildings and cut down on our air-conditioning expenses. More natural lighting could also help to reduce electricity bills.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Government is committed to the mission of making our buildings even more energy-efficient. We look forward to working with the HKGBC and its members on promoting environmentally-friendly initiatives.

I thank you all for being here this morning and for your participation in today's Conference. It only remains for me to wish the new Hong Kong Green Building Council every success, and our visitors an enjoyable stay in Hong Kong.

Thank you very much.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old December 7th, 2009, 04:59 PM   #908
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,508
Likes (Received): 17836

Hot money drives HK's property boom
Surge in luxury flat prices follows a similar pattern of early 1990s when the market was driven by cash inflows
4 December 2009
South China Morning Post

The inflow of HK$567 billion into Hong Kong between October last year and this October is a simple demonstration of what surplus liquidity can do to property prices.

There has been a huge jump this year in property prices, particularly luxury flats. According to real estate firm CB Richard Ellis, prices of luxury flats have risen by 40 per cent since January, and are now just 13 per cent below last year's pre-crisis peak. Records have been set for some luxury properties, including one apartment at 39 Conduit Road in Mid-Levels, which was sold in October for a world record HK$88,000 per square foot.

Given that the Hong Kong economy remains weak - real GDP contracted by 3.8 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter, and nominal wage growth remains in negative territory - the property boom has the hallmarks of a liquidity driven bubble.

The hike in flat sales has also pushed the shares of property developers up and prompted a flood of primary and secondary offerings in property-related shares. These developments are perpetuating Hong Kong's next boom-bust property cycle.

But it's a pattern that is well established. The fundamental factors that have long supported the Hong Kong property market, from a shortage of housing to record low mortgage costs, are well known.

After the boom years running up to the handover, the city's property prices succumbed first to the Asian financial crisis in 1998, then the dotcom bust and a downturn caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) in 2003.

In the Asian financial crisis, property prices fell about 70 per cent and didn't bottom out until late 2003. In the dotcom boom-bust in 2000-01, property prices came off their 1996-97 highs by about 40-60 per cent and, while the climate in 2002 became slightly more optimistic, the crash following Sars saw property rental prices fall by 40 per cent and the market stagnated through into 2004.

When the Asian financial crisis hit Hong Kong in 1998, interest rates were raised overnight to 16 per cent to defend speculation on the Hong Kong dollar.

The government's defence of the dollar sent property on a downward spiral, ultimately forcing the government to intervene by instituting in June 1998 a temporary nine-month moratorium on all new land sales to prevent a total loss of confidence in Hong Kong.

Following the Sars epidemic, the city' property and real estate market had been combating rising unemployment and deflation.

Overall, the Asian financial crisis and Sars were devastating to Hong Kong's property market. From the peaks of 1996-97 to the troughs of late 2002, property prices fell close to 70 per cent and then dropped a further 10 per cent in the first quarter of 2003.

In the wake of the global financial crisis and subsequent dollar inflows into Hong Kong, the government's intervention has been limited. The only real direct response has been the requirement by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) that banks lend no more than 60 per cent of the value of properties selling for more than HK$20 million instead of 70 per cent.

This requirement, however, has had an immediate impact on sale and purchase agreements - they fell by 24 per cent month on month in October this year.

According to Jones Lang LaSalle's latest quarterly analysis, however, the luxury residential sales market remained lively going into the third quarter, largely because of sustained low interest rates, tight supply (with reports of many apartments being taken off the market in anticipation of even higher prices), the stock market rally and growing investment interest from mainland buyers.

"In an environment where finance costs are low and supply is tight, capital values of luxury residential properties will likely hold in the next 12 months ahead, with a mild potential upswing," said Jane Murray, head of research, Jones Lang LaSalle, who was quoted in the firm's latest Asia-Pacific Property Digest.

"It is logical to expect an interest rate rise in 2010 but any upside pressure will be realised towards the end of the year, and luxury residential buyers are generally less sensitive to interest rate movement. The growing interest from mainland Chinese individuals also helps to broaden the buyer pool and offer further support to capital values."

Prices now have everything to do with local and, especially, mainland buyers. The government's restrictions on leverage in property transactions may not deter these customers. Some of them require mortgages - the percentage of mainland borrowers in Hong Kong has steadily risen over the past three years - but interest rates are low and many are apparently willing to pay cash. According to data from the HKMA, the amount of money approved for mortgages has been declining in recent months even as prices have been going up.

According to market intelligence research firm Business Monitor International, with policymakers in the United States and the mainland unlikely to make the shift to tightening liquidity any time soon and the Hong Kong government highly unlikely to revalue the Hong Kong dollar, the property boom could continue for a long while yet. However, if and when a correction comes, this could have serious consequences on the overall economy, as was the case following the property crash of 1997.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old December 11th, 2009, 07:07 PM   #909
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,508
Likes (Received): 17836

Australia's Goodman unveils $390 million HK project

SYDNEY, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Australian property firm Goodman Group and its unlisted fund, Goodman Hong Kong Logistics Fund, will develop a $390 million warehouse and distribution project in Hong Kong, aiming for growth in China.

Goodman said on Wednesday the project, located at Tsing Yi in Hong Kong's port district, will have 222,000 square metres of warehouse space.

It is expected to cost A$430 million ($389 million) and deliver a forecast yield on cost of 9 percent.

Goodman has already tied up with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) to expand its China business and has formed a capital tie with sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old December 15th, 2009, 02:50 PM   #910
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,508
Likes (Received): 17836

New private hospitals must provide mix
The Standard
Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Private hospitals operating on four reserved sites will have to provide a mix of specialist services and the number of maternity beds cannot exceed one-fifth of all the beds.

These are part of seven special requirements set out yesterday for those submitting "expressions of interest" to develop private hospitals at Wong Chuk Hang, Tseung Kwan O, Tai Po and Lantau.

Companies have until March 31 to submit documents.

Secretary for Food and Health York Chow Yat- ngok said: "The service scope should have a mix of specialty services without slanting towards any particular type of service. Obstetrics will be less than 20 percent of total hospital beds."

The hospitals on the four sites could have capacities of 300 to 500 beds.

He also said those interested should ensure price transparency.

There should be comprehensive charging information for public reference and about 30 percent of services should be provided at packaged charges.

The other requirements include restrictions on land use, the date of commencement of operation of the new hospital, service standard and remedy for non-compliance.

"We will work out the appropriate land disposal arrangements for the four reserved hospital sites, including the means and timing for land disposal, the detailed special requirements, and the land premium for the four sites," Chow said.

He said the government has not set out the land premium as development of the private hospital industry was more important.

One of the more contentious sites is the 2.5-hectare plot on Nam Fung Path in Wong Chuk Hang. It will be near the edge of the South Island Line of the MTR, which will have a magnetic field impact on medical equipment, Chow said.

He said going by the interest expressed over the years, there would be enough bidders for the four sites.

Chow said he expects the first of the four private hospitals to be completed in five to six years and the rest within six to eight years.

Hong Kong currently has 39 public and 13 private hospitals.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old December 19th, 2009, 06:51 AM   #911
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,508
Likes (Received): 17836

First-half debut for Broadcast Drive flats
18 December 2009
The Standard

A residential project being built on the site of ATV's former Broadcast Drive headquarters will hit the market in the first half, according to Jones Lang LaSalle.

Meridian Hill prices will be set based on traditional luxury properties, such as those atop Kowloon Station and in Kowloon Tong, Jardine's Hill, the Mid-Levels and Southern District, said director Joseph Tsang.

These properties fetch around HK$20,000 per square foot, Tsang added.

``Properties which are really in prime areas are fetching about that level,'' said Midland director Andy Ho Ming-pui.

``[In recent years] there has not been that much supply of luxury homes in Kowloon Tong,'' he said.

Broadcast Drive is considered among the better locations in the district. The redevelopment project at 81 Broadcast Drive will deliver 103 homes in three nine-story buildings.

The apartments will mainly be three and four bedroom units, measuring 1,300 square feet and 2,100 sq ft. While the sizes of special units have not yet been decided, ground-floor homes will come with gardens.

Completion is expected in the third quarter of 2011. The project has an old land deed and hence does not need any pre-sale consent. Cheung Kong (Holdings) (0001) bought the site from ATV in 2005 for HK$600 million.

A US state pension fund paid around HK$2.6 billion to the company for the development and another one in Conduit Road last year.

Buyers snapped up 31 of 32 units in the Conduit Road project within five hours of them being put up for sale in September.

At around HK$15,000 psf, the sale generated HK$700 million for the fund.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old December 22nd, 2009, 07:34 PM   #912
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,508
Likes (Received): 17836

Property sector curbs spark revision of land auction estimates
The Standard
Monday, December 21, 2009

Surveyors have revised their estimated selling price for two sites in Tai Po a week before auction because of potential curbs aimed at the property sector.

The plots in Pak Shek Kok were triggered for auction from the application list system. Each has a site area of about 20,925 square meters and a gross floor area of between 40,176 and 66,960 sqm.

They are the first large-scale development sites to go on the block since a residential lot in Wong Chuk Hang was sold in October 2007.

Charles Chan Chiu-kwok, Savills (Hong Kong) managing director, revised down his forecast for the Tai Po sites to HK$11 billion from the HK$12.4 billion he forecast in Mid- November to reflect the uncertainty over possible moves to scrap concessions given to developers who include green features, car parks and clubhouses in their projects.

A decision against so-called exemption areas could deprive developers of up to 10 percent of their bonus floor area.

"Back then the government had not mentioned anything about exemption areas," Chan said. "Now they can be reduced or canceled altogether so I think developers will be more conservative in bidding."

But Centaline Surveyors director James Cheung King-tat disagrees. His firm's estimate has risen from HK$9.4 billion to around HK$11.5 billion because he says the government has not done anything concrete to curb developers' appetite.

Frank Knight maintained its previous estimate of HK$12.97 billion, representing HK$9,000 per square foot.

In 2007, a consortium including Sino Land (0083) and Nan Fung Development successfully bid for three adjacent sites for HK$10.16 billion, or HK$5,614 psf. Both Chan and Cheung expect the consortium to actively bid for the two sites in the upcoming auction so as to have a greater land area.

More than 1,000 homes are expected to be built by June 2015.

The surveyors say developers will build houses along the harborfront and low-rise buildings elsewhere.

Cheung thinks the houses can fetch more than HK$10,000 psf, adding that past experience shows good auction results do not drive up property prices nearby.

Midland sales director Ivan Yeung Hing-chung said Tai Po homes have become dearer, reflecting higher land costs recorded in the previous Pak Shek Kok auctions two years back.

Yeung said some homeowners have not put their properties on sale pending the auction.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old December 29th, 2009, 04:39 PM   #913
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,508
Likes (Received): 17836

Crocodile building redevelopment in Central by fatshe from skyscrapers.cn :



__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old January 4th, 2010, 11:24 AM   #914
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,508
Likes (Received): 17836

Golf course for Tai Po landfill gets the nod
28 December 2009
South China Morning Post

Approval has finally been given to turn a restored landfill in Shuen Wan, Tai Po, into a privately operated nine-hole golf course, the Environmental Protection Department says.

A spokesman for the department was unable to say when the golf course would be built or start operating, but he said expressions of interest had been received from 10 developers.

The site measures 53 hectares but the golf course will only occupy the 15 hectares that have been used as a temporary driving range since 1999. Plans for a golf course on the site were also made public that year.

Ellen Chan Ying-lung, an assistant director in the department, said only some areas could be developed for recreational use because landfills were often hilly, making it difficult to build on them.

For instance, model-plane enthusiasts have been using the restored area of the Tseung Kwan O stage two and three landfill since 2004. And the landfill site at Pillar Point Valley, Tuen Mun, will be developed into a shooting range operated by the Hong Kong Shooting Association.

Old landfills take years to restore. Those built in the 1960s and 1970s are not equipped with drainage systems for waste water or the emissions of methane from the rotting waste beneath them.

Chan said waste water had to be drained from the landfill to stop the land becoming polluted.

Maintaining the sites - including collecting the waste water and controlling landfill gases - costs more than HK$61 million a year. It cost HK$1.3 billion to restore the 13 sites.

Chan said: "The most important thing is to have a suitable design for the environment and to monitor it so that landfill gases do not affect users in any way."

The weight of buildings also has to be considered.

"Decomposition means that the volume shrinks and it sinks a little but not a lot, so building facilities of one or two storeys high is not a problem," Chan said.

In principle, land can be used as soon as it is restored. But development often takes years because it takes time to decide how the land should be used and to seek funding.

It took about six years to turn a restored landfill site in Sai Tso Wan, Kwun Tong, into the city's first full-sized baseball field. Gin Drinkers Bay in Kwai Ching was once a 29-hectare landfill. It was restored in 2000 but it was not until this year that the Jockey Club International BMX Park was opened there. A cricket ground has also been proposed.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old January 7th, 2010, 04:57 PM   #915
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,508
Likes (Received): 17836

'We're not dragging our feet on building'
7 January 2010
The Standard

The government is not dragging its feet in implementing promised major infrastructure projects, the development minister says.

Secretary for Development Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor denied the progress of the 10 projects outlined in the 2007 policy address is unsatisfactory, even if construction has yet to start on some of them.

Lam was responding to a question raised yesterday by lawmaker Raymond Ho Chung- tai of the engineering sector.

Ho said that only two projects _ the Kai Tak Development, and the Hong Kong- Zhuhai-Macau Bridge _ have actually started.

Lam said manpower would be an issue if all 10 projects proceeded at once. ``The administration appreciates the importance of implementing public works projects in an evenly and orderly manner,'' she said, adding the government hopes to ensure sufficient numbers of construction workers to meet the demand of upcoming projects.

``We are concerned about the limitation of manpower, including those at the management level and the workers' level. We will focus on training local workers, especially encouraging young people to join the construction industry,'' Lam said.

The Labour Department and the Construction Industry Council have taken a series of measures to strengthen training.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old January 8th, 2010, 01:39 PM   #916
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,508
Likes (Received): 17836

Home values forecast to increase 15pc this year
2 January 2010
SCMP

Hong Kong property prices will go up this year, but the gains will not match the sizzling pace of 2009, say real estate experts.

Home prices this year were likely to grow 10 to 15 per cent in the wake of the continued hot money inflow from the mainland and the United States, said Benny Wong at Pan Asian Mortgage, which specialises in mortgage origination and capital market financing.

But he and other property professionals say prices will not rise by the nearly 30 per cent rate of last year - when a heavy inflow of hot money drove up values.

David Ng, the head of regional property research at Royal Bank of Scotland, also does not expect a sharp rise in home prices.

"Last week's land auction result reflects that developers are more cautious about the market than the individual luxury-home buyers," he said.

On December 28, Sino Land bought a 2.09-hectare residential site in Tai Po for HK$5.15 billion. Sino Land's 85 per cent joint venture also picked up an adjacent residential site of the same size for HK$5.25 billion. The remaining 15 per cent of that plot is owned by KWah International Holdings.

The plots were sold for an average HK$7,214 per square foot, far lower than the HK$9,000 some analysts had forecast. But the price tag is not low when compared with the HK$4,668 to HK$6,368 per square foot fetched by nearby plots in 2007.

"The auction outcome is a wake-up call for the market and a clear warning that the existing disconnect between the property sector and the pace of recovery of the economy cannot continue indefinitely," said Nicholas Brooke, the chairman of Professional Property Services.

Property owner and investor Teddy Tse says the auction result has removed his concern about a potential asset bubble in the market.

"It's a good sign. It indicates that the market will not go crazy, but rationalise," said Tse, a senior manager at a US-based commodity firm.

In anticipation home prices will rise 10 to 15 per cent this year, Tse is eyeing units of about 700 sqft and valued at about HK$4 million to HK$5 million for investment.

Tse's view is in line with analysts who forecast that housing prices will grow but at a much slower rate.

However, analysts sometimes get it wrong.

At the beginning of 2009, there was consensus that the global financial crisis would force a continued decline in prices and rents.

According to the data compiled by Centaline Property Agency, housing prices rose 29 per cent from January 1 to December 28 last year.

On average, prices are now 73.23 per cent of the price level in 1997, it said.

In terms of total housing transaction volumes, 115,229 property deals were lodged with the Land Registry as of December 30, according to Ricacorp Properties. This is a gain of 19.68 per cent from 2008.

Total residential sales value over the period amounted to HK$432.1 billion, an increase of 23.5 per cent, Ricacorp said.

But much of those gains came from the huge flow of funds into the city. According to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, more than HK$640 billion of hot money flowed into the city from October 2008 because of low interest rates and loose monetary policies around the world.

Moreover, the increase in prices may be skewed by high sales of luxury housing.

Buying by wealthy Hongkongers and mainlanders saw high transaction prices in luxury projects such as 39 Conduit Road, Mid-Levels, the Masterpiece in Tsim Sha Tsui and Westminster Terrace in Yau Kom Tau, near Tsuen Wan.

But Ng of RBS said this did not reflect the overall market sentiment.

Property purchases above HK$10 million are usually made by wealthy Hongkongers or mainlanders, not first-time local homebuyers or those upgrading for the first time.

Demand is therefore not coming from the mainstream buyers, which means a surge in sentiment from luxury property sales can only have a short-lived effect on the overall market. Ng said transactions below HK$3 million accounted for 74 per cent of the secondary market.

"A 5 per cent increase in home prices at best is a sensible forecast for this year," said Ng.

That lower assessment is partly a reflection of the sober outlook for the economy.

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen on Tuesday warned of the risk of a W-shaped - or double-dip - recession in 2010, reflecting continued uncertainties about the state of the global economy.

Hong Kong had just recorded its first year-on-year growth in exports since the global financial crisis. Exports in November surpassed HK$240.7 billion, up 1.3 per cent from November 2008. The year-on-year contraction in gross domestic product eased from 7.8 per cent in the first quarter to 3.6 per cent in the second and 2.4 per cent in the third. Unemployment dropped to 5.1 per cent in the September-November period, having hit a peak of 5.4 per cent between April and August.

But Tsang says Hong Kong's economic recovery will not be a smooth one.

"I am a bit pessimistic on the pace of recovery and we may experience a double-dip in the middle of next year," he said.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old January 10th, 2010, 07:34 AM   #917
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,508
Likes (Received): 17836

Henderson and New World pay HK$2.5b levy
8 January 2010
South China Morning Post

Henderson Land Development and New World Development have agreed to pay the HK$2.5 billion land premium for converting an agricultural site in Yuen Long to residential use.

The premium's unit rate is about HK$2,100 per square foot, according to people familiar with the deal.

It is the second project for which the two developers have agreed to pay the land premium levy in recent months.

In October last year, they accepted a HK$9.59 billion demand from the Lands Department for a residential development in the Lok Wo Sha area in Wu Kai Sha.

The developers could generate a total gross floor area of about 4.12 million square feet from the two sites.

Henderson has a 75 per cent stake in the Yuen Long project.

The developers will build 13 residential blocks on the site, next to Sereno Verde. It will provide a total gross floor area of 1.17 million sqft, with 1,700 units.

Surveyor Albert So Chun-hin said the per square foot levy of HK$2,100 was reasonable, based on property prices in the area, which are about HK$3,500 per square foot.

According to transaction data from Centaline Property Agency, prices of Sereno Verde ranged between HK$2,500 and HK$2,700 per square foot.

The fact that Henderson and New World were willing to pay the land premium showed they were bullish on the property market outlook, So said.

"They are expecting property prices will continue to go up," he added. "If the developers expect property prices to drop, they will not pay the land premium levy even if it is low.

"That happened in 2001 to 2003. The land premium levy for converting agricultural sites in the New Territories was about HK$1,000 per square foot, but not many developers were willing to pay it."

Last month, New World managing director Henry Cheng Kar-shun said the company was prepared to pay the government up to HK$7 billion in land premiums for the right to convert agricultural land into residential use this year.

The developer is expected to generate a total gross floor area of more than two million sqft for developments in Tai Po Tsai, Wu Nga Lok Yeung, Yuen Long and Lok Wo Sha.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old January 11th, 2010, 01:27 PM   #918
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,508
Likes (Received): 17836

Sino Land, K Wah JV To Spend Total HK$6.9 Bln On Tai Po Site
11 January 2010

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Sino Land Co. (0083.HK) and K Wah International Holdings Ltd. (0173.HK) said they plan to spend HK$6.9 billion to develop a site they jointly bought in a Hong Kong auction in late December.

The amount comprises HK$5.25 billion for the land and HK$1.65 billion to develop the site, the firms said.

Sino Land owns 85% of the site, in Pak Shek Kok, Tai Po, the New Territories. K Wah owns the rest.

Sino Land will contribute about HK$5.87 billion to the joint venture, while K Wah will contribute the remaining HK$1.04 billion.

The two companies won one of two adjacent sites auctioned in Hong Kong on Dec. 28. Sino Land won the auction for the other site on its own.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old January 18th, 2010, 05:48 PM   #919
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,508
Likes (Received): 17836

Swimmers set to reclaim beaches shut for decade over sewage flow
27 September 2009
SCMP

Seven beaches flanking the Rambler Channel in Tsuen Wan that have been closed for more than a decade because of pollution from raw sewage may reopen within two years.

Officials say water quality at the beaches - once popular swimming spots for residents of the area and still used by a hardy few - is improving after work to channel and treat the waste, and they could be fit for use again by the summer of 2011.

The HK$1 billion scheme, which began early this decade, includes new trunk and branch sewers and a treatment plant at Sham Tseng, which was one of the first in Hong Kong to disinfect waste through ultraviolet radiation.

The beaches, including Lido, Casam and Ting Kau - once among Hong Kong's most popular - were closed from the mid-1990s to 2003 as development in the area boosted the population.

"Twenty years ago there were no sewage treatment facilities, no sewage works whatsoever in the area," Elvis Au Wai-kwong, assistant director of the Environmental Protection Department's water policy division, said. "But the population of the area around the beaches increased by 42 per cent after 1996, from 26,000 to around 37,000."

He said that in Sham Tseng village, known for its roast goose restaurants, "all kinds of things were happening". "Septic tanks were not well maintained. Some of the village's restaurants would discharge their waste right into the nullah. It was quite smelly."

Au said people in the area had been very co-operative because they could see the benefit. "Once the water is improved this will be quite a beautiful place to live."

Li Kwan-yau, 59, who learned to swim at Lido and Ting Kau in the mid-1960s, said the beaches' popularity peaked in the mid-1970s, when changing rooms, snack bars and lifesaving facilities were built. Then, over the next two decades as pollution worsened, Li watched as the public looked elsewhere for places to swim.

"Now, if people in Tsuen Wan want to go to swimming, they'll go to the swimming pool in the town centre, or the beaches at Sai Kung or on Hong Kong Island," he said. "I'd say that everything in Tsuen Wan is better than before - except the water."

So far, 51 of Sham Tseng's 400 village houses have been connected to new sewers, a number that Au hopes will increase to 250 by next year.

By summer 2011, all but a few dozen houses will be connected and any remaining sewage that flows into the nullah will be intercepted by a local disinfection chamber.

"Right now, just 40 per cent of the population in the area is connected to the new sewers, but we've already had some amazing results," Au said. "Since 2005, the

The department's latest beach water quality results show that the level of

At least half of the pollution at Tsuen Wan's beaches is carried north by currents from Victoria Harbour, where another initiative to improve water quality, the Harbour Area Treatment Scheme, is still under way.

Over the past decade, the government has begun to intercept the sewage along the waterfronts of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island, and provide chemical-enhanced primary treatment without disinfection. Now, it is working on a second stage of treatment to add disinfectant to the treated sewage, but this will take years to be effective.

Even in the 1960s and 1970s, Li remembers, the water was far from perfect. "The water was dirty and there was a lot of rubbish floating around. Sometimes, it was the colour of milk tea. You couldn't see anything."

Although it no longer provides lifesaving services at the beaches, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department continues to maintain them. Sand is raked, rubbish is collected and, on some beaches, changing rooms are still open and showers operate. Lido Beach, which has views of the Ting Kau and Tsing Ma bridges, continues to attract a sizable crowd each weekend.

On a recent Sunday afternoon, nearly 150 people were at the beach, and 20 to 30 people were swimming, despite banners and recorded announcements warning them not to enter the water.

"People don't really care about the warnings," said an employee in the beach manager's office who declined to be named. "The

At Ting Kau Beach, Chichi Yip, 35, emerged from the water with her children and husband. She has lived in the adjacent village most of her life.

"The people in the village still swim in the water, especially the old people, who go in the morning. If I think about it, the water is actually a lot better than it was a few years ago. I hope it keeps improving."

E coli levels are over the official standard, but you can't stop people from going in the water. To be honest, I sometimes go in for a dip myself."

E coli bacteria per 100 millilitres of water at many beaches is now comparable to what it was in the mid-1990s. But the new facilities are only part of the story.

E coli count at some beaches, like Lido and Casam, has declined by more than 50 per cent."
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old January 20th, 2010, 04:14 AM   #920
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,508
Likes (Received): 17836

Emperor enlarges site
The Standard
Friday, January 15, 2010

Emperor International (0163) has forked out HK$120 million for an old building in Shau Kei Wan to enlarge a redevelopment project.

The property arm of the Emperor Group acquired the property at 30-36 Shing On Street to combine it with the adjacent No18-28 which it bought earlier for HK$130 million, a source told Sing Tao Daily, sister publication of The Standard.

The new purchase increases the site area to 7,238 square feet from 4,200 sq ft, with an average land cost per square foot of gross floor area of around HK$3,500.

The developer submitted a plan to the government while it was purchasing the first building, the source said.

A 33-story commercial- residential complex will be built on the site. Shops will occupy more than 13,000 sq ft of space on the ground and first floors.

Above the commercial area, 75 homes will be built - measuring about 500 to 1,000 sq ft.

Emperor International will launch its pre-sale by the end of the year at the earliest. It aims to fetch more than HK$8,000 psf or over HK$800 million in total. The project is expected to be completed in 2012. In addition to a total investment of HK$500 million in the Shau Kei Wan project, the builder spent about HK$2.8 billion in the past six months acquiring other properties in urban areas.

It intends to launch three projects this year - Harbour One in Sai Wan, The Java in North Point and a Prince Edward Road West redevelopment project - aiming to reap HK$3.4 billion altogether.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote


Reply

Tags
hong kong

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Related topics on SkyscraperCity


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 08:56 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

SkyscraperCity ☆ In Urbanity We trust ☆ about us | privacy policy | DMCA policy

Hosted by Blacksun, dedicated to this site too!
Forum server management by DaiTengu