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

Go Back   SkyscraperCity > World Forums > Skyscrapers

Skyscrapers General news, discussion and announcement forum about skyscrapers, including the Skyscraper Living forum



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 July 2nd, 2006, 07:08 PM   #1
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,491
Likes (Received): 17802

Norman Foster Landmark Sits Empty in Hong Kong for 4 Years

$8b Foster landmark empty four years on
2 July 2006
South China Morning Post



A distinctive Lord Foster-designed high-rise modelled on the shape of a lily and built at a cost of $8 billion on prime Repulse Bay land has stood vacant since it was built four years ago.

The delay - widely believed to result from developer Chinachem failing to agree with the government on the amount of additional land premium it must pay to convert the building from residential use to a hotel - has local residents baffled.

While a new hotel in the area would raise Repulse Bay's profile, it would put more strain on the area's narrow roads brought by large tour buses.

The 95.5-metre-tall building occupies a site area of 113,775 sq ft on Repulse Bay Road and was completed in 2002 with a view to being sold as luxury flats. But poor timing - it was put up for sale soon after the Sars scare hit the property sector in 2003 - and a hefty $30,000 per sq ft price tag translated into poor sales.

Chinachem, owned by Asia's richest woman, Nina Wang Kung Yu-sum, then decided to convert the finished building into a 352-room hotel modelled on the world-famous five-star Burj Al Arab in Dubai, tentatively to be named L'Hotel Repulse Bay, as the latest in a series of hotels under the L'Hotel brand in Hong Kong.

"They never tell us what's going on, and we don't know what is happening with this building," said Chu Ching-hong, vice-chairman of Southern District Council and a Repulse Bay resident. He noted that the community had never been notified or consulted in the four years since the high-rise was built.

Mr Chu, who plans to take up the issue of the building's status with the government, added that an impact study on Repulse Bay's arterial roads should be made before final approval was given for a hotel.

Recently there has also been speculation that Chinachem will abandon its conversion efforts.

A Lands Department official confirmed Chinachem had applied for lease modification in the change in use of the building but declined to give further details.

Chinachem officials have refused to comment.

"I am busy in a meeting now," said hotels division director George Kuk Hin-fai last week.

It has been reported the rooms would have an average floor area of 970 sq ft, while the top floors would feature 3,000 sq ft suites. The building is fenced off from Repulse Bay Road and old scaffolding still clings to the lower walls.

Construction workers could be seen loitering at the site last week but there was no sign of activity. A security guard at the entrance said renovation work had stopped a "long time ago".

Property market watcher Ivan Ho Shiu-cheong, managing director of real estate agency Ricacorp, said it was highly unusual for a Hong Kong property developer to leave a building vacant for so long after completion.

But he also noted that in Chinachem's case, this could be partially explained because the company was not listed on the stock market and is believed to have a strong balance sheet. Chinachem has a unique history of sitting on completed projects for years, he said.

He added that the company had, in the past, been associated with lower-key projects. The Lord Foster-designed building was an attempt by the company to boost its image, 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

Sponsored Links
Old July 2nd, 2006, 10:57 PM   #2
samsonyuen
SSLL
 
samsonyuen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Canary Wharf > CityPlace
Posts: 8,350
Likes (Received): 314

What a shame. It's in a great location, and is such a nice looking building.
samsonyuen no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 2nd, 2006, 11:00 PM   #3
The Mad Hatter!!
P.E.C.K CREW
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: miami
Posts: 2,994
Likes (Received): 631

purely stumpy,
__________________
"Architects are pretty much high-class whores. We can turn down projects the way they can turn down some clients, but we've both got to say yes to someone if we want to stay in business"Philip Johnson

Boycott the La forum-Worse forum in SSC
The Mad Hatter!! no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2006, 10:04 PM   #4
Muse
Supernature
 
Muse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Sydney
Posts: 8,590
Likes (Received): 32

It looks like an overgrown baseball stadium.
Muse no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 30th, 2006, 10:05 PM   #5
Tazmaniadevil
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Tampa
Posts: 333
Likes (Received): 1

I really like the building. I didn't know it sat empty, But so did the ESB when it first opened. It was even called the Empty State Bldg for awhile.
Tazmaniadevil no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 31st, 2006, 12:17 AM   #6
tonytowers
Remember the Name
 
tonytowers's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: London/Glasgow
Posts: 168
Likes (Received): 0

Must admit though L'Hotel Repulse Bay doesn't quite have the ring of Burj Al Arab. Unfortunate name for the bay, people would be wondering whats so Repulsive about it.
tonytowers no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old August 2nd, 2006, 02:21 AM   #7
beyutch
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 42
Likes (Received): 0

It's such a prominent building, strange that it's empty
beyutch no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 26th, 2010, 05:37 PM   #8
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,491
Likes (Received): 17802

Chinachem Makes Splash, Even Without "Little Sweetie"
12 October 2010

The winner of a prime luxury site at a government land auction in Hong Kong today, known more for its colorful past than its prowess in property development, is starting to make a name for itself in the market again.

Privately owned Chinachem Group won a site in Kowloon Tong for HK$1.63 billion (US$210 million) today. The sales price translates into an accommodation value of HK$17,976 per square foot, a new record for urban Kowloon.

The sale is an indication of the company's resolve to restore its standing amongst the top rank of developers following the death of its iconic chairman Nina Wang and the long-running legal battleover her estate that ensued and captured the attention of Hong Kongers for months.

Wang, also known as 'Little Sweetie' due to her eccentric style of dress, presided over a vast property empire after the kidnapping and disappearance of her husband Teddy Wang in 1990, and left behind a multibillion-dollar estate upon her death in 2007. Her fortunes became the subject of a tussle between Wang's family and feng shui master Tony Chan, who was also her alleged lover. The court ruled in February in favor of the Chinachem Charitable Foundation.

Since then, the company has been run by Wang's brother and two sisters, none of whom have any experience in property development, raising questions over the company's likelihood of success. As a privately held company, it is difficult for analysts to discern much information about the management team's vision and direction.

Chinachem also has some negative perceptions to overcome. It isn't a name that jumps out when Hong Kongers think of luxury developers, unlike competitors such as Sun Hung Kai Properties.

But judging from Chinachem's activities this year, it's not hard to see that the company is trying to put its past behind it.

"Chinachem has been very active in almost every auction this year," said David Ng, head of regional property research at the Royal Bank of Scotland. "And just look at the way they raised their bids today against Kerry Properties. They were very aggressive and their enthusiasm is very evident."

It also recently launched its long-awaited luxury project in prestigious Repulse Bay, The Lily, which is designed by Norman Foster, after Nina Wang bought the site in 1997. Simon Lo, director of research and advisory services at Colliers International, says the project marks the re-entrance of the company into the luxury market and greatly improves its standing against other local developers.

A Chinachem executive told reporters after the auction that he plans to sell the flats at the Kowloon Tong site for HK$22,000 per square foot. It remains to be seen whether the hallmarks of Nina Wang's eccentricities will live on - such as bits of jade buried around Chinachem properties on the advice of her feng shui advisor.
__________________
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

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 01:53 AM.


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