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Sun Hung Kai plans to build 9,940 flats at Yuen Long’s Tam Mei wetlands in one of Hong Kong’s biggest mass housing projects

Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) plans to build 9,940 flats at Tam Mei in Yuen Long, according to applications filed with Hong Kong’s Town Planning Board

The project comprises 36 residential towers of between 10 and 29 floors each, translating to about 400 square feet (37 square metres) for each unit on average

A mass housing project is taking shape near the wetlands in Hong Kong’s New Territories, with the potential to accommodate 25,850 residents when it is completed in 2026, a major step towards easing the acute shortage in one of the world’s most expensive cities.

Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) plans to build 9,940 flats at Tam Mei in Yuen Long, according to applications filed with Hong Kong’s Town Planning Board.

The project comprises 36 residential towers of between 10 and 29 floors each, translating to about 400 square feet (37 square metres) for each unit on average, according to the plan.

The number of flats being planned, equivalent to Hong Kong’s total home sales in the first seven months of 2021, is about the size of Whampoa Garden in Hung Hom, making it one of the city’s largest residential communities.

The push to develop the area – currently on loan to the city government as a community isolation facility for Covid-19 patients – follows the extension of a transport network to promote Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s Northern Metropolis project.

The project is near the planned Au Tau subway station of the Northern Link, about 800 meters away from the station. It takes 10 minutes to reach the “Hong Kong Silicon Valley” San Tin Technopole, which aims to create 148,000 IT-related jobs.

“Now that the Northern Link construction has been revealed, the land should yield residential development to solve Hong Kong’s housing problem, which is better,” said SHKP’s project director Spencer Lu.

SHKP plans to include nearly three hectares of wetlands within the Tam Mei project to balance conservation with its property development. The project includes land that has been earmarked for a primary school, and elderly care homes and amenities.

The northern part of the project, currently being used as Hong Kong’s community isolation facility – has been permitted for transformation into a large-scale retail outlet in the early years, according to the plan.

The southern part has received permission for the construction of a hotel, and is currently mainly a brownfield site for large open-air warehouses. The Koon Chun Sauce Factory sits in the middle of the site. SHKP said it reached an agreement with Koon Chun to relocate its factory to the southern region of the site.

With a plot ratio of 2.2 to 2.5 times for the residential part, that will account for 4 million sq ft in gross floor area. The non-residential part, with a plot ratio of less than 0.1 time, will yield 150,158 sq ft.

The development site will measure 2.11 million sq ft, including housing development that spans 1.75 million sq ft, the relocated sauce factory and a school.

SHKP claims to be the most active developer in converting farmland to residential use. SHKP is experienced in balancing conservation and development, including the construction and rapid sales of Wetland Seasons Park and Wetland Seasons Bay next to the Hong Kong Wetland Park.

The applications will be subject to three weeks of consultation, and is expected to be discussed in a Planning Board meeting in mid-July, when it may be approved or rejected, according to the Board’s website.

The developer wants the approval process to be fast and completed this year, and aims to complete the first phase of the project by 2026 and 2027, said Rebecca Wong, planning director of project planning and development department of the developer.

The ownership of agricultural land in the New Territories is extremely fragmented, said the developer. It called on the government to adopt a more flexible approach in the future to facilitate more land planning adjustment projects and make better use of land resources.

(South China Morning Post)


Hongkong Land Leases 3 Central Office Floors to White & Case

Hongkong Land has welcomed a former tenant back to its Central office portfolio after 15 years, announcing that global law firm White & Case had taken up three floors at York House, the developer’s Grade A office tower at 15 Queen’s Road.

The US-based firm is leasing 25,000 square feet (2,322 square metres) across floors 9, 10 and 16 at York House, said Hongkong Land’s director and head of office and commercial property Neil Anderson.

“We are delighted to welcome White & Case back to our Central portfolio as they look to expand their footprint across Hong Kong and the APAC region,” Anderson said in a company press release. “The firm’s long term commitment to Hongkong Land is testimony to the quality of the buildings and our leadership in serving the legal services community.”

Though the firm leased its new office at an undisclosed price, the move followed a 2.5 percent year-on-year decline in average rents at the developer’s Hong Kong office portfolio to HK$117 per square foot per month in 2021, according to Hongkong Land’s latest annual report. However, compared with open market rents at Central Tower, which White & Case had previously occupied, rental rates at York House are 30 to 40 percent higher, market sources told Mingtiandi.

Down the Road

With the firm’s new office space having opened in April, the district’s biggest landlord is bringing White & Case back to its portfolio from the 1997-completed Central Tower, which is also on Queen’s Road and less than 200 metres (218 yards) from York House.

The move by White & Case boosted the firm’s office size by about 13 percent from its 22,000 square foot space, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The 14-storey York House, about two minutes’ walk from Central MTR station, spans 116,250 square feet of office space atop Hongkong Land’s The Landmark, a shopping mall home to luxury brands like Gucci and Dior. The building is also part of the Landmark complex, which aside from the retail podium consists of two other office buildings, as well as the Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

Before settling into Central Tower in 2007, White & Case had occupied 17,000 square feet at Gloucester Tower, one of the office buildings in that same complex.

Central Rents Remain Soft

While White & Case has expanded its office space, many companies in Hong Kong have been downsizing in terms of staff numbers and adopting work-from-home arrangements, a surveyor said. Landlords will have to offer competitive rents among other incentives to attract new tenants to take up office space, the surveyor added.

In Central, rents rose 0.7 percent from the preceding three months in the first quarter, a property agency said in a report published last month, though despite the slight improvement from January to March, rents in the key business district have come down 1.6 percent year-on-year.

“Market uncertainties since the start of 2022, including the outbreak of Omicron, geopolitical tensions and stock market volatilities, have disrupted the decision-making process of occupiers, (which slowed) office leasing momentum in the first quarter,” another agent said, who added that overall Grade A office rents saw a 1.3 percent quarter-on-quarter drop in the period.

A surveyor firm expects that office rents in Central to remain soft in the current quarter, the surveyor said, noting that most prime office buildings in the district are held under single ownership and the big landlords are unlikely to reduce the rents as much as those of strata-titled offices.

“A few tenants may be able to (take advantage) of lower rents and choose to move to Central from decentralised locations, but more tenants will move out or downsize,” the surveyor said, adding that vacancy rates will also remain at a high level throughout the rest of the year.

Home City Slows

In 2021, the value of Hongkong Land’s investment properties in its home city was $26.6 billion, down 5 percent from the year before, due to lower open market rents.

However, the lower leasing rates in Hong Kong may have helped the developer attract more tenants, with vacancy in the Central office portfolio improving to 4.9 percent at the end of last year from 5.9 percent at the end of 2020.


For more information of Office for Lease at York House please visit: Office for Lease at York House

For more information of Office for Lease at Central Tower please visit: Office for Lease at Central Tower

For more information of Office for Lease at Gloucester Tower please visit: Office for Lease at Gloucester Tower

For more information of Grade A Office for Lease in Central please visit: Grade A Office for Lease in Central


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