How do you turn a 1,000-room hotel into 5,000 housing units?
CK Asset Holdings (01113.HK) chairman Victor Li Tzar-kuoi has the vision to turn the company’s Harbour Plaza Resort City in Tin Shui Wai into two blocks of 53-storey residential buildings.
In a filing to the Town Planning Board, the property developer said the proposed redevelopment is consistent with the government policy of increasing land supply and maximizing the use of land resources.
Harbour Plaza Resort City, which opened for business in 1999, has 1,100 guest rooms, mainly for mainland tourists and expatriates such as airline crews.
If the redevelopment plan is approved, Cheung Kong will build 5,000 home units in what will be one of its largest residential development projects in the city.
Cheung Kong asked the Town Planning Board to relax the property’s gross floor area to 185,000 square meters from 135,000 square meters.
A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that the plan will add two million square feet of gross floor area in the popular North West Territories district, a gateway to China’s proposed Big Bay Area.
All told, the hotel is a low-yield business, compared with property development which has been booming over the last decade – until the last quarter when the residential market turned cold amid growing worries over economic uncertainties.
Surging property prices have led to the rise of nano flats, whose size is below 180 square feet, or roughly 1.5 times a standard car parking space.
It is not clear how big the new homes in the planned Cheung Kong development will be, but one thing is sure – there will be more than 50 units on every floor, which is the current setup for the hotel.
I have visited Harbour Plaza Resort City a few times in the past several years, and I can say it is one of the most relaxing places I’ve been to, living up to its name. But I guess its time is up.
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