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Old March 20th, 2012, 07:37 AM   #1361
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Agents strike it rich in sale
The Standard
Monday, March 19, 2012

Many aging buildings will have a chance of being redeveloped when the government lowers the compulsory sale threshold.

A forced sale may take place if 80percent of the owners agree, making it difficult for the remaining owners to hold out for a higher selling price.

A case in point is the Central Mansion in Causeway Bay, which has been acquired by an investment fund for redevelopment.

Some owners had tried to sell the building by tender, but they did not get the required number of owners to agree.

They avoided compulsory sale and tried another round of persuasion, which fortunately worked.

Located in a prime district, Central Mansion is suitable for commercial redevelopment.

The developer, Phoenix Property Investors, is not one of the biggest players in the field.

Many were amazed at its HK$2 billion acquisition involving more than 300 individual units.

The project was well-executed. Once 90 percent of the owners signed up, the developer submitted plans for redevelopment. It did not wait till it acquired the remaining units, which would have involved a forced sale.

Now the project is proceeding at full speed and likely to be completed in 2014.

Built in 1964 and located at the junction of King Lung Street and Jaffe Road, Central Mansion sits on the President Shopping Centre, which takes up the basement and ground floor.

According to the floor plans, there will be more shops on the future building's lower floors.

Such an urban site is rare and valuable. There are reports that the property is up for sale at HK$6 billion. Such large-scale acquisition is hard to pull off. It takes hard work, good planning and a bit of luck too.

They said the sale of Central Mansion was completed by three agents, each receiving a commission of close to HK$2 million in the end. Their success has become legendary in the property market.

Siu Sai-wo is chief editor of Sing Tao Daily
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Old March 20th, 2012, 07:56 PM   #1362
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Government to sell two sites by public tender
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Government Press Release

The Lands Department announced today (March 13) that two residential sites in the 2012-13 Land Sale Programme will be disposed of by public tender.

The two sites are Sha Tin Town Lot No. 562 in Area 56A, Kau To, Sha Tin, New Territories, and Tseung Kwan O Town Lot No. 114 in Area 66C1, Tseung Kwan O, New Territories. The tender invitation for both lots will commence on April 13 and will close on May 18.

Sha Tin Town Lot No. 562 has a site area of about 4,680 square metres and is designated for private residential purposes. The minimum gross floor area and the maximum gross floor area are 2,808 square metres and 4,680 square metres respectively.

Tseung Kwan O Town Lot No. 114 has a site area of about 4,352 square metres and is designated for non-industrial (excluding godown, hotel and petrol filling station) purposes. The minimum gross floor area and the maximum gross floor area are 14,362 square metres and 23,936 square metres respectively. The total number of residential units to be built shall not be less than 310 and shall not exceed 326.

The final Conditions of Sale for both lots will be available for distribution and uploaded to the Lands Department's website (www.landsd.gov.hk) by April 13, when the particulars of the tender will also be gazetted.
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Old March 22nd, 2012, 05:24 PM   #1363
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Officials seek $100m for dig into cave use
The Standard
Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Close to HK$100 million has been earmarked for feasibility studies on using natural caverns to house public facilities.

The sum includes HK$57.9 million for a feasibility study on the relocation of Sha Tin sewage treatment works to caverns and another HK$40.4 million for caverns spread around the territory.

The Sha Tin installation is the largest secondary sewage treatment works in the territory.

It will release about 28 hectares of land, equivalent to 1.5 Victoria Parks.

Deputy Secretary for Development (Works) Enoch Lam Tin-sing said the installation will be relocated underneath Nui Po Shan, opposite the existing Sha Tin treatment works.

"It is an ideal area as it is not only situated near the treatment works across the Shing Mun River, the effluent export tunnel of sewage water also passes across the study site toward Kai Tak River," he said.

The study will begin in June if the Legislative Council's Finance Committee approves the funding.

"If everything goes well, construction will begin in 2017 and be completed in 10 years," Lam said.

Sha Tin District Council's health and environment committee welcomed the proposal but voiced concern over its possible environmental consequences.

Another study is to explore the use of underground space in rock caverns across the territory.

"It has been found that 64 percent of the land area of Hong Kong is suitable for rock-cavern developments," Lam said.

"They are certainly worthy of consideration and could form part of our efforts at sustainable development."

The government will also consider using caverns at five other sites - Kennedy Town Fresh Water Services Reservoir, Siu Ho Wan on Lantau Island, Lam Tei in Tuen Mun, Mount Davis and Lion Rock Hill.

"The second study on the long-term strategy for cavern development will look for more possible locations across the city," Lam said.

He said the study will be completed in October 2015 if everything goes smoothly.

Successful examples of facilities housed in rock caverns include the Stanley sewage treatment works, Island West refuse transfer station and Kau Shat Wan explosives depot.

Using caverns is among six strategies to meet the government's target of providing land for 40,000 flats a year.

Other proposals for land supply include rezoning, redevelopment, reuse of old quarry sites and reclamation outside Victoria Harbour.
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Old March 28th, 2012, 06:14 PM   #1364
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Officials seek $100m for dig into cave use
The Standard
Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Close to HK$100 million has been earmarked for feasibility studies on using natural caverns to house public facilities.

The sum includes HK$57.9 million for a feasibility study on the relocation of Sha Tin sewage treatment works to caverns and another HK$40.4 million for caverns spread around the territory.

The Sha Tin installation is the largest secondary sewage treatment works in the territory.

It will release about 28 hectares of land, equivalent to 1.5 Victoria Parks.

Deputy Secretary for Development (Works) Enoch Lam Tin-sing said the installation will be relocated underneath Nui Po Shan, opposite the existing Sha Tin treatment works.

"It is an ideal area as it is not only situated near the treatment works across the Shing Mun River, the effluent export tunnel of sewage water also passes across the study site toward Kai Tak River," he said.

The study will begin in June if the Legislative Council's Finance Committee approves the funding.

"If everything goes well, construction will begin in 2017 and be completed in 10 years," Lam said.

Sha Tin District Council's health and environment committee welcomed the proposal but voiced concern over its possible environmental consequences.

Another study is to explore the use of underground space in rock caverns across the territory.

"It has been found that 64 percent of the land area of Hong Kong is suitable for rock-cavern developments," Lam said.

"They are certainly worthy of consideration and could form part of our efforts at sustainable development."

The government will also consider using caverns at five other sites - Kennedy Town Fresh Water Services Reservoir, Siu Ho Wan on Lantau Island, Lam Tei in Tuen Mun, Mount Davis and Lion Rock Hill.

"The second study on the long-term strategy for cavern development will look for more possible locations across the city," Lam said.

He said the study will be completed in October 2015 if everything goes smoothly.

Successful examples of facilities housed in rock caverns include the Stanley sewage treatment works, Island West refuse transfer station and Kau Shat Wan explosives depot.

Using caverns is among six strategies to meet the government's target of providing land for 40,000 flats a year.

Other proposals for land supply include rezoning, redevelopment, reuse of old quarry sites and reclamation outside Victoria Harbour.
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Old March 28th, 2012, 08:04 PM   #1365
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Kwun Tong Recreation Ground
3/4

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Old March 29th, 2012, 01:40 PM   #1366
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Someone give me the money for a ticket to go to Hong Kong
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Old April 2nd, 2012, 07:06 PM   #1367
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Villagers boycott order on homes
The Standard
Monday, April 02, 2012



All 27 rural committees in the New Territories have reached a consensus not to declare any illegal structures.

This was in defiance of Secretary for Development Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, who earlier urged New Territories residents to register their illegal structures.

Wong Wing-sang, a village representative of Fuk Hing Tsuen in Yuen Long, called on residents to ignore the government order.

Cheung Hok-ming, vice chairman of the Heung Yee Kuk, said he would not tell villagers whether they should declare any illegal structures on their properties.

The Buildings Department received the highest number of complaints over illegal structures against Tung Tau Wai and Fuk Hing Tsuen in Yuen Long among the nine villages initially targeted.

Cheung said the kuk threatened to seek a judicial review when villagers received the first demolition order. He urged the government to exempt illegal structures on old houses built without a height limit.

"Some New Territories village houses were built on government leases in the early 1900s in which the height limit was not stipulated," Cheung said.

"We hope that the government will exempt those houses and allow the owners to keep illegal structures that pose no danger to the public."

He said it is up to the villagers to determine if they have illegal structures and if they should register them.

Junius Ho Kwan-yiu, chairman of the Tuen Mun Rural Committee, urged residents to boycott the registration exercise as the govern
ment had taken a "heavy-handed approach." Registering would mean they admit violating the buildings ordinance.

Choi Kin-sun, a representative of Tung Tau Wai, said they wished the government had given them more time to handle the properties in question before issuing demolition orders.

Elderly homeowners will face a heavy financial burden if they are forced to demolish the structures, he said.

The government has offered a building safety loan of up to HK$1 million per house to those who have financial difficulties. Those who pass the means test will receive interest-free aid.

According to government regulations, a village house that exceeds the three-storey standard and has glass enclosures that cover more than half the rooftop are severe breaches that must be cleared immediately.

Lesser breaches will be tolerated for a few years.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 04:28 PM   #1368
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By Car L :

Lions Rise 現崇山









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Old April 11th, 2012, 04:03 PM   #1369
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Tenders invited for Happy Valley Underground Stormwater Storage Scheme
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Government Press Release

The Drainage Services Department (DSD) today (April 5) invited tenders for the contract for the Happy Valley Underground Stormwater Storage Scheme. The works under the contract are scheduled to commence in July this year for completion in February 2018.

The works mainly comprise:

* construction of an underground stormwater storage tank with a capacity of 60,000 cubic metres and a pump house with a pumping rate of 1.5 cubic metres per second at Happy Valley Recreation Ground;

* construction of a twin-cell box culvert about 400 metres long and with internal cell dimensions of 2m high by 4m wide;

* associated works including modification of an existing box culvert, construction of a stilling basin, a fan room and an access manhole, and drainage and sewer diversion works;

* electrical and mechanical works; and

* reprovision of the sport pitch surface and landscaping works.

Interested contractors can obtain the tender forms from the Drainage Projects Division, Drainage Services Department, 45/F, Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai.

The invitation to tender was gazetted today and the closing time for the tender will be noon on May 18, 2012. Tender submissions should be placed in the Government Secretariat Tender Box at G/F, East Wing, Central Government Offices, 2 Tim Mei Avenue, Tamar.

This contract will adopt the New Engineering Contract (NEC) with Engineering and Construction Contract (ECC) Option C as the form of contract. For enquiries, please call 2594 7401.
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Old April 11th, 2012, 04:45 PM   #1370
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Lions Rise
http://www.lionsrise.com.hk/en/about/



Address : 8 Muk Lun Street, Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon
No. of Towers : 5
No. of Units : 968 units
No. of Storeys : 31 residential storeys – from 8/F to 42/F
*(there is no designation of 13th, 14th, 24th and 34th floor)
Typical Unit Size : approx. 680s.f. to 1,470s.f.
Typical Unit Layout : 2 bedrooms to 4 bedrooms (ensuite) with store room
Clubhouse Facilities : Ballroom In The Park, 50M Outdoor Pool, Indoor Pool, Kid's Pools, Spa World, Multi-Purpose Sports Hall, Children Playground and Gym Room etc.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 05:28 AM   #1371
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Henderson buys Ap Lei Chau site
The Standard
Friday, April 13, 2012

Henderson Land (0012) spent HK$72.70 million acquiring a site in Ap Lei Chau yesterday after a near-three-year tussle gaining the consent of disparate owners.

Henderson plans to spend HK$400 million to develop the 1,980-square-foot site at 70 and 72 Main Street in Ap Lei Chau after buying it under the law on compulsory sale for redevelopment.

With a plot ratio of 8.4 times, the buildable price per square foot amounts to HK$4,371 psf. At present, a six-story, 46-year-old commercial and residential building is on the site.

"It took us two to three years to prepare for the purchase," said Henderson general manager Augustine Wong Ho-ming. "It will be developed together with the neighboring site at 62-68 Main Street in Ap Lei Chau. The project will provide around 60 small and medium-sized flats."

Henderson has also applied to acquire six sites on Ka Shin Street in Tai Kok Tsui.

Meanwhile, Midland Realty (1200) said new flat supply on Hong Kong Island this year will amount to 1,628 units, provided by 20 projects. The agency said secondary market deals dominated the market in the first quarter, while new home transactions fell by nearly 30 percent.

A total of 3,251 secondary homes changed hands in the first three months, up 45 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011. The value of the deals hit HK$22.6 billion, up 40 percent in the same period.
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Old April 14th, 2012, 08:17 AM   #1372
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Tenders invited on sale of land for private hospital development
Friday, April 13, 2012
Government Press Release

The Government today (April 13) invited tenders from local and overseas parties for developing private hospitals at sites in Wong Chuk Hang and Tai Po. The deadline for submitting tenders is July 27, 2012.

A spokesman for the Food and Health Bureau said, "It is our policy to facilitate private hospital development to address the imbalance between the public and private sectors in hospital services. Increasing the overall capacity of the health-care systems in Hong Kong can help in coping with the increasing service demand and provide the public with more choices and affordable high-quality private hospital services."

The spokesman added, "Hong Kong is also renowned for its high standard of professional health care as well as its advanced medical technology and equipment. Coupled with our excellent communication facilities and marketing skills, we have the advantages and potential in further developing our medical services, in particular in the provision of highly specialised services that require technology and multi-disciplinary skills."

To facilitate private hospital development, the Government has reserved four pieces of land at Wong Chuk Hang, Tai Po, Tseung Kwan O, and Lantau for sale for this purpose.

An Expression of Interest exercise was launched in December 2009 to solicit market interest in the four reserved sites. Subsequently, the detailed land disposal arrangement has been formulated.

The first two sites now put to open tender are Aberdeen Inland Lot No. 458 (about 27,500 square metres) at Wong Chuk Hang and Tai Po Town Lot No. 207 (about 54,851 square metres) in Tai Po.

To ensure the two new private hospitals will provide services of good quality and cater for the needs of the general public, the Government has included a set of special requirements for hospital development at the sites. The requirements include aspects of restriction on land use, timing of commencement of hospital operations, bed capacity, scope of services, price transparency and service standards.

Tenderers should refer to the tender documents for the requirement details. The Explanatory Statement, Form of Tender, Tender Notice and Conditions of Sale for the tenders are available for distribution and uploaded to the Lands Department's website at www.landsd.gov.hk and the Food and Health Bureau's website at www.fhb.gov.hk starting from today.

The Government will adopt a two-envelope tender approach, with 70 per cent weighting to be given to the service quality aspect and 30 per cent to the premium aspect in the assessment of the tenders. The assessment criteria are set out in the tender documents.

To facilitate monitoring of the operations of the new private hospitals, each successful tenderer will be required to enter into a service deed with the Government. The service deeds, which will be coterminous with the land leases, will incorporate the successful tenderers' proposals for operation of the private hospitals.

The spokesman noted that both local and overseas tenderers who possessed relevant experience in hospital operation are welcome to bid for the sites. Interested parties should submit the tenders in accordance with the requirements given in the tender documents no later than noon on July 27, 2012, Hong Kong time (GMT +8 hours).

For enquiries on the invitation to tenders, please email [email protected] or fax to (852) 2116 0764.
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Old April 14th, 2012, 08:23 AM   #1373
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Out and about
The Standard
Thursday, April 12, 2012

Outlying islands have recently again become the stomping ground of a few developers which see great potential in luxury residential developments that leverage nature's gifts.

Several sites on islands including Lantau and Peng Chau have been sold over the past four months and some have fetched prices way below market expectations. Last month, a 49,127-square-foot residential site on Peng Chau was sold to Sino Land (0083) for HK$19 million, or HK$514 per buildable square foot - much lower than estimates of between HK$37 million and HK$150 million.

"The price was quite surprising. There were only two tenders for the site, which reflected weak interest among the developers," said Centaline Surveyors director James Cheung King-tat.

The site provides a gross floor area of 36,800 sq ft. Cheung added that factoring in construction and development costs future projects on the site will sell for between HK$2,000 and HK$2,500 psf. Neighboring properties now sell for between HK$2,300 and HK$3,000 psf.

Another 12,280-sq-ft site on Peng Chau was also triggered for sale earlier this month. The site - with gross floor area of 9,223 sq ft - was triggered for HK$5.5 million, or HK$596 per buildable sq ft. Industry sources said developers would build two- to three- story detached houses.

"Detached houses will provide expansive sea views, which adds a lot to the development potential," said Kenneth Cheung Chor-yin, executive director of Citiland Surveyors. Edward Yiu Chung-yim, assistant professor of the department of real estate and construction at the University of Hong Kong, said developers may be eyeing outlying islands to build luxury residences.

"From 1997, luxury property prices have outperformed the general property market. But since there is not much land supply in the traditional luxury [residential] areas, many developers started to upgrade some other areas into luxury property districts too," Yiu said.

Over the past decade, more luxury homes have cropped up in West Kowloon as well as in Shum Wan in the south of Hong Kong Island.

"Government measures in the past year limited the development of many new sites in urban areas, such as the stipulation of flat size and the number of flats. This prompted developers to look for areas with more developmental flexibility, and hence greater margins. These are some of the advantages that developers saw on outlying islands," he added.

For the Peng Chau site Sino Land bought last month, the price of future flats - HK$2,000 psf - could be at least two times more than the land cost - at HK$514 per buildable sq ft. Such high profit margin would be unlikely in urban projects.

The emergence of large property projects on outlying islands is not of recent origin. HKR International (0480) developed Discovery Bay on Lantau back in the 1970s. The low-density area was later shaped into a project that mainly attracted expatriates. However, there are disadvantages too, such as the distance and time for travel to work locations such as Central and Wan Chai. This has prompted developers also to build transport infrastructure and provide transport services.

Back in 2002, to attract homebuyers to Park Island on Ma Wan, Sun Hung Kai Properties (0016) launched ferries to and from Central, and buses to and from Tseung Wan, Tsing Yi and Kwai Fong.

Another challenge would be the acquisition of sites on islands.

"Most sites on islands, especially Cheung Chau and Lamma, had been passed on to descendants of island natives. There is a lot of legal work involved if developers want to buy sites. The process could take years," Yiu said.

There are four outlying islands sites on the application list.
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Old April 16th, 2012, 12:44 PM   #1374
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Building checks to fail on a lack of inspectors
The Standard
Monday, April 16, 2012

The effective date of a mandatory building inspection scheme is likely to be delayed because there is not enough time for flat owners to locate and hire inspectors.

The government had claimed there would be 300 firms listed for flat owners to hire, but up to yesterday only 69 were on the Building Department's website. A main reason for the cold response from companies is the low government subsidies - HK$500 for each window and HK$800 for each flat.

According to a survey of 850 homeowners by political party Kowloon West New Dynamic, 70 percent are unaware that mandatory inspections start in the second quarter of this year.

The department will notify flat owners who need to hire listed companies from this month until June. After receiving a notice, flat owners are supposed to hire companies to make an inspection within six months. "The government should notify owners a year in advance so they have enough time to discuss and oganize matters," said Yau Tsim Mong district councillor Rowena Wong Shu-ming.

She also said it was unreasonable for authorities to start notifying flat owners in the second quarter of this year bearing in mind the Legislative Council had passed the Buildings Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2011 last June.

"There aren't enough details for flat owners, and the elderly have no way to know about the scheme," she added.

The Buildings Department consulted the public in 2003 and 2005 to reach a consensus that flat owners should be responsible for maintenance and repair and shoulder costs.

Owners of buildings that went up more than 30 years ago must carry out inspections and repair common parts, external walls and projections once every decade. And owners of buildings aged 10 years or more are required to carry out inspections and repair work of all windows once every five years.

Li Kim-wah, chairman of the owners' corporation at Kam Kee Building on Ki Lung Street, Sham Shui Po, said many flat owners refuse to share the cost of repairs, and so he worries it might be hard to hire listed companies to do work.

Kowloon West New Dynamic hopes the government can clarify whether the names of flat owners who are willing to shoulder the costs will be published along with those who refuse to pay.
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Old April 17th, 2012, 03:50 PM   #1375
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Changes rekindle project hopes
The Standard
Friday, April 13, 2012

The next Hong Kong government is expected to usher in new policies, and one of the obvious areas for change is in land and housing.

Since the colonial days, the territory has been steadfastly adhering to the so-called high land price policy.

Under this concept, land is considered a scarce resource that should only be used sparingly, and vast rural areas are zoned for conservation accordingly.

And those people in related professions who have been advocating policy adjustments have become supporters of the incoming administration by default - for it shares their thinking.

Chief Executive-designate Leung Chun-ying is a surveyor by profession, and many of his backers are from the same field.

One of them is Wan Man-yee, who has been running his own firm for many years after working for the government and large consortiums.

Wan has worked on many cases involving change of land use, and a few of these became frustrating, such as the Nam Sang Wai project proposed by the Fu family.

The site concerned was acquired along with a development blueprint drawn up decades ago, but the project has been blocked by conservation groups as it involves wetland.

In the intervening years, buildings have sprung up in the surrounding area.

But the many development proposals with conservation measures put forward by the land owner have failed to break the stalemate.

To increase housing supply, land in the New Territories would have to be released, and this is bringing new hope in controversial projects.

But wetland conservation is particularly sensitive.

To have a chance of getting the green light, large-scale projects like Nam Sang Wai would first have to allay conservationists' concerns.

Siu Sai-wo is chief editor of Sing Tao Daily
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Old April 18th, 2012, 06:25 PM   #1376
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Hang Lung boss eases fears on Leung policies
The Standard
Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hang Lung Properties (0101) chairman Ronnie Chan Chi-chung thinks the local residential market will remain stable after Chief Executive-designate Leung Chun-ying assumes office on July 1.

"Hong Kong's land policy is very important and determines both the success and the failure of the city. I believe Leung, when he starts his job as chief executive, will release more sites," said Chan, a long-time supporter of Leung. But developers may not be able to make as much money as before, he added.

Meanwhile, realty firm Cushman & Wakefield expects office rents in Central and Admiralty to fall by 5-10 percent this year, while those in Wan Chai and Causeway Bay may dip by 2 percent. The milder decline in the latter two districts - considered to be extensions of the core business district - is due to the vibrant retail sector.

"Landlords have cut rents as leasing activity has slowed due to weaknesses in the global economy and difficulties facing the banking and finance industry," executive director John Siu said.

Landlords have also slashed rents to secure and retain tenants, he added

In the first quarter, overall office rents in the SAR dropped 5.2 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011 to HK$66 per square foot per month.

Prime office rents in Central fell by 13.3 percent to HK$123.30 psf per month, while those in Wan Chai and Causeway Bay were down by 3.3 percent to HK$62.20 psf per month.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 04:38 AM   #1377
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Lam lays down law on illegal structures
The Standard
Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Secretary for Development Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor is adamant there will be no amnesty for unauthorized structures on village houses.

She also stressed that the government will not legalize those structures by receiving a so-called "tolerance fee."

Heung Yee Kuk chairman Lau Wong-fat fears this will give rise to a "war of resistance" and said the government should allow the houses to stay the way they are.

Lam stressed yesterday that she has never considered granting an amnesty.

"If we back down today and say there is no need to enforce the law when there is no legal ground to support an amnesty, this will be a blow to the spirit of the law in Hong Kong," she said.

But the Buildings Department will use its expertise to decide what to do if demolishing upper floors poses a threat to the lower floors, Lam said.

"If the Heung Yee Kuk has persuasive reasons, it can apply for a judicial review. We do not have an issue with that, and we will then let the courts handle it," Lam said.

She also said the government has issued 85,000 letters telling homeowners that they should report illegal structures.

She said it would be unacceptable to leave the issue to the next administration to handle.

Lam also said she received a letter from Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference member Lew Mon-hung yesterday on the issue. Lew has called for an amnesty.

She said it is wrong for Lew to claim that New Territories village homeowners cannot apply for public housing or join the Home Ownership Scheme queue.

She said that all Hong Kong residents can apply for subsidized housing if they meet the criteria.

At a kuk meeting yesterday, Lau made it clear that the houses should be allowed to stay the way they are unless the illegal structures are an immediate danger.

Vice chairman Cheung Hok- ming said the government may have a definition of "unauthorized structures" that is different from the kuk's.

The kuk will assist villagers who wish to file for judicial review, Cheung said.
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Old April 20th, 2012, 05:11 AM   #1378
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Hospital block slammed over traffic fears
The Standard
Friday, April 20, 2012

A Happy Valley residents' group has cited traffic concerns in renewing opposition to an expansion plan by the Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital.

Jeff Ho Yip-chor, co-founder of the Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital Redevelopment Concern Group, said the expansion plan includes a new entrance on Wong Nai Chung Road.

The increased traffic on the already congested road would be a disaster for residents, Ho said.

He also said the hospital rejected his earlier proposal that the expansion be carried out on its Wong Chuk Hang plot, as that area is less congested.

"Traffic congestion is a growing problem, and having more rooms in the hospital may worsen the situation," Ho said.

"There are days when we're simply frustrated by the traffic. Put that together with this upcoming monster of a building, and I think we've got a pretty nasty estate."

Two 20-story blocks are being planned as part of the development. Residents also fear a drop in property values as racecourse views will be blocked.
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Old April 20th, 2012, 07:47 PM   #1379
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Leung won't let us down, says property developer
The Standard
Friday, April 20, 2012

A property developer yesterday expressed confidence in the incoming administration amid worries that Hong Kong's new chief executive will boost land supply, dragging home prices lower.

New World Development (0017) executive director Gary Chen Guanzhan said he expects the team of Chief Executive-elect Leung Chun-ying to continue supporting the property market.

"I think the government will learn a lesson from history when it plans new housing policies," Chen said.

"Home prices may be vulnerable to the external environment, but I expect a stable market this year supported by loads of end-users. I don't think he [Leung] will make the market collapse."

New World Development and MTR Corp (0066) plan to put The Riverpark on the market this June - at the latest. It is located at Ma On Shan.

The project has 980 units, most of which measure 670-1,850 sq ft.

They are likely to be priced like other homes in the neighborhood at HK$9,000-HK$12,000 per sq ft. The project is expected to be completed by May next year. It is now awaiting presale approval from the government.

Meanwhile, Secretary for Transport and Housing Eva Cheng Yu-wah said public housing serves a group that is different from the private market.

"The two have their own role and should not contradict each other," Cheng said.

For the rest of its term, the present government will continue to watch out for risk of asset bubbles and ensure the healthy development of the property market, she said.

Midland Realty executive director Vincent Chan Kwan-hing said he expects the property market to remain stable. He is not worried that Leung's policies will affect the livelihood of property agents. "The meal may not be as good as before but it is still good."
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 04:42 AM   #1380
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CLP gets $400m super-typhoon armor
The Standard
Friday, April 20, 2012

Nearly HK$400 million will be spent on protecting power grids against the rising threat of super typhoons that pack wind speeds of over 185 kilometers an hour.

Plans are to plow up to HK$390 million into a three-year project to strengthen physical and technological infrastructure including transmission towers, substations, power poles and intelligent switches, CLP Power said.

The large-scale initiative will help ensure power supply even during violent storms and improve public safety by lowering the odds of accidents caused by falling lines and poles.

"The measures are designed to boost the capability of our grid system from an increasing trend of severe storms with strong winds, in order to give our customers a reliable power supply and ensure public safety," power systems director Chow Tang-fai said.

The project will specifically address super typhoons with central wind speeds above 185 kph.

Powerful cyclones like the deadly Typhoon Megi, which struck the Philippines in 2010, could easily knock down transmission towers, he said.

Hong Kong Observatory senior scientific officer Mok Hing-yin said super typhoons will likely become more frequent as global warming intensifies.

Five super typhoons have struck the SAR since 1950, accounting for 10 percent of the total.

CLP noted that Typhoon Wanda in 1962 disrupted power supplies, affecting thousands, while two towers in Tuen Mun were damaged by Typhoon Ellen in 1983. Both were Signal 10 storms.

Most of the cash will go into improving the wind resistance of 151 transmission towers, from the current 240 kph to 300 kph, at HK$1 million per tower.

Work will also be carried out on 74 slopes to prevent landslides from toppling towers. Tree and bush planting and insertion of steel pillars will cost another HK$200 million to HK$250 million.

Also on the cards is an emergency control team to carry out immediate repair work on broken poles and overhanging power lines amid a typhoon strike.

However, the added safeguards will likely cost consumers, as CLP said the expensive operation might lead to a "marginal increase" in charges.
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