15 July 2019
CK Asset Holdings will redevelop Hutchison House into a 41-storey office building. Photo: HKEJ/CNSA
CK Asset Holdings will redevelop Hutchison House into a 41-storey office building. Photo: HKEJ/CNSA

Hello, Cheung Kong Center 2.0

A mini Cheung Kong Center will rise in Central in about five years.

A plan to redevelop Hutchison House was disclosed this week when CK Asset Holdings announced its interim results.

In a conference call with analysts, chairman Victor Li Tzar-kuoi said the reconstruction project would adopt the design of the group’s flagship Cheung Kong Center on Queen’s Road, Central.

Built in 1974, the redevelopment plan for the 23-storey Hutchison House secured the approval of the Town Planning Board in 2012. Construction will start next year.

The new office building will have 41 floors, compared with Cheung Kong Center’s 70 storeys.

Earlier this year, CK Asset sold the 73-storey The Center for a record HK$40.2 billion. The large cash pile provides a buffer for any earnings shortfall in the coming years before the new building is completed.

The reconstruction project comes as office prices in Central soar to record highs, driven by strong demand from mainland financial companies.

Last year, Henderson Land scooped up a multi-storey public carpark on Murray Road, just opposite Hutchison House, for a record HK$23.28 billion, making it the world’s most expensive land sale at more than HK$50,000 per square foot.

It plans to build a 31-storey office and commercial building on the site.

However, some of the sea views from tycoon Lee Shau-kee’s new building may be blocked by the Hutchison House project.

Chairman Li seeks to allay such concerns, noting that the public, especially the developers, would know the rebuilding plan before the tender.

Li said the extra benefit is that he, as chairman of both CK Asset and CK Hutchison, would put the two companies under the same roof so he would not need to go back and forth for meetings.

The two redevelopment projects, which would start almost at the same time next year, would certainly have an impact on property prices in the central business district.

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EJ Insight writer

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